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Nasdaq closes at record high on consumer tech-spending boom

Tech stocks moved higher Thursday, pushing the Nasdaq composite to close above 9,000 for the first time as it extends its winning streak to 11 days. The tech-heavy index closed at 9,022, a gain of 0.8% for the day and up nearly 10% this shortened holiday week.

Other indexes closed near record highs. The S&P 500-stock index closed at 3,239, gaining half a percent over the day. Considered the benchmark index for the the U.S. stock market, the S&P 500 has finished with a weekly gain in 10 out of the past 11 weeks and is headed for its biggest annual gain since 2013 at 29%. Meantime, the blue-chip Dow Jones industrial index closed at 28,621, up 0.4% on the day.

Amazon and other retailers climbed after data showed that a last-minute surge in online shopping boosted overall holiday sales. Amazon climbed 4.4%. Macy's rose 2.6% and Nordstrom added 1.8%.

"That's just a confirmation that the consumer is incredibly strong and resilient and helping to power the economy to better numbers," said Jeff Kravetz, regional investment director for U.S. Bank Wealth Management.

High hopes on trade

Rising optimism around a "Phase 1" trade deal announced earlier this month between the United States and China helped put investors in a buying mood in recent weeks. Fears about a possible recession have also faded since the summer after the Federal Reserve cut interest rates three times, and the central bank appears set to keep them low for a long time.

U.S. and China's "phase one" trade deal 07:07

Still, as traders turn their attention to 2020, investor worries about the outlook for the global economy remain, as do concerns over unresolved trade issues between Washington and Beijing. Next year also has the added complication of the U.S. presidential election during a U.S. presidential impeachment trial.

"Trade will continue to be a factor that drives short-term market volatility," Kravetz said. "But if you look at the other factors, the more fundamental economic factors — consumer and business sentiment — those are the ones which are really keeping investors in the game and more confident."

The last five days of December and the first two in the new year have historically been a positive period for the market. Stocks have brought an average gain of 1.3% over that stretch since 1950, according to the Stock Trader's Almanac.

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