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Stocks - Trade Optimism Sends Wall Street to New Highs

Investing – Stocks started Thanksgiving week with a solid rally Monday, the second in two trading sessions, led by technology and health stocks.

The rally saw the Dow Jones industrials, S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite hit new closing highs. The S&P 500, Nasdaq and Nasdaq 100 indexes hit new intraday highs and the Russell 2000 index hit a 52-week high.

The S&P 500 finished up 0.75%. The Dow added 0.69%. The Nasdaq was up 1.32%, and the Nasdaq 100 was up 1.11%. The Russell was even stronger with a 2.09% gain.

The catalyst seemed to be more optimism about a U.S.-China trade deal and perhaps a market perception that an impeachment effort to remove President Donald Trump out of office will fall short.

The trade optimism, which fueled the Russell's big gain, was based on a call by Chinese officials for speeding up new penalties and punitive action for infringement of patents and copyrights, published over the weekend. The issue is key for tech companies, especially smaller tech companies trying to scale up their businesses.

In addition, Reuters said a Chinese state-backed tabloid said Beijing and Washington were "very close" to an initial pact.

Tech stocks were also buoyed by a big gain in Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA), which builds graphics chips used in games and in data centers. Nvidia helped the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index rise 2.43%.

Health stocks moved higher, led by UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH).

Crude oil rose modestly. Gold was lower, as were interest rates.

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