U.S. equities were mixed with the Dow pushing further into record territory, while the NASDAQ and S&P took a breather. Volume was light amid a dormant economic calendar. The biggest news of the day came from an upbeat reading on Chinese industrial profits. Treasury yields fell on the day and pressured the U.S. dollar. Oil and gold were little changed. Back from a two-day break, European markets rallied; Asian equities were more mixed.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 24 points (0.1%) to 28,645, the S&P 500 was down 1 point to 3,239 and the NASDAQ shed 16 points (0.2%) to 9,007. 479 million shares were traded on the NYSE and 1.8 billion shares changed hands on the NASDAQ. WTI oil fell $0.01 to $61.67 per barrel and wholesale gasoline shed $0.01 to $1.74 per gallon. Elsewhere, the Bloomberg gold spot price shed $0.26 to $1,511.27 per ounce and the Dollar Index—a comparison of the U.S. dollar to six major world currencies—was down 0.5% to 97.02.

News on the equity front was light on the final Friday of 2019 that will close out the Christmas holiday-shortened week that saw the stock markets continue to grind higher and post record highs, with the Nasdaq breaching the 9,000 level for the first time. Four catalysts have led the rally in the stock markets and put the positive final touches on 2019, with the U.S. and China reaching a “phase one” trade agreement, the U.S. consumer continuing to do the heavy lifting of economic output, global growth showing signs of bottoming, and central banks around the world maintaining highly accommodative monetary policy stances.

Consumer discretionary stocks paced the gains for the week, along with technology issues, the energy sector and materials, while the defensively-natured consumer staples and utilities have underperformed and are on pace for red figures.

Treasuries were higher after the curve experienced a bull steepener, in which short-term yields fall faster than long term yields. The yield on the 2-year note fell 5 basis points (bps) to 1.58%, the 10-year yield dropped 2 bps to 1.87% and the 30-year rate fell 1 bp to 2.31%.

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