S&P 500, Dow tick higher on trade optimism; Nasdaq dips on Tesla

Reuters | Nov 22, 2019 at 5:20 PM

* Trump says trade deal "potentially very close"

* China's Xi says wants to work out an agreement

* Nordstrom jumps on 2019 forecast raise

* Tesla drops after unveiling electric pickup truck

* Indexes: Dow up 0.21%, S&P up 0.05%, Nasdaq off 0.08% (Updates market action)

Nov 22 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 and Dow Jones indexes eked out gains on Friday following upbeat trade deal comments from Washington and Beijing, while the Nasdaq was weighed down by a slump in shares of Tesla after the launch of its electric pickup truck.

Trump told Fox News that a trade deal was "potentially very close", adding to optimism following remarks by President Xi Jinping that Beijing wanted to work out an initial agreement. Reports earlier in the week had indicated that a truce could be delayed to 2020.

"Deal means actual hard facts and so even if people meet and get together and talk a little bit more, we don't see anything substantial happening," said Jeanette Garretty, managing director & principal at Robertson Stephens Wealth Management in San Francisco.

A report on Friday said a hedge fund founded by billionaire Ray Dalio has bet more than $1 billion that stock markets around the world will fall by March.

U.S. stocks have retreated from record highs scaled in recent weeks on hopes of a resolution to the damaging tariff war, with the benchmark S&P 500 index on course to snap its six-week winning streak. The tech-heavy Nasdaq is eyeing its first weekly drop in eight weeks.

Meanwhile, latest economic data underscored a resilient domestic economy. U.S. manufacturing output accelerated in November to its fastest pace in seven months and services activity picked up more than expected.

Six of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors were trading higher, led by financials. Limiting gains on the benchmark index was the technology sector, which slipped 0.17%.

Intuit Inc dropped 4.60% after the income-tax filing software maker forecast second-quarter profit below estimates.

At 11:46 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 58.37 points, or 0.21%, at 27,824.66, while the S&P 500 was up 1.49 points, or 0.05%, at 3,105.03.

The Nasdaq Composite was down 6.60 points, or 0.08%, at 8,499.61, dragged down by a 6.3% slump in shares of Tesla Inc as its electric pickup truck design received an underwhelming response.

Among other stocks, Nordstrom Inc jumped 10.4% after the retailer raised its 2019 forecast and reported third-quarter profit above expectations.

A largely better-than-expected earnings season has also contributed to the recent market rally.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.39-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and by a 1.16-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.