Stocks – Nasdaq Hits Record Highs as Trump Holds off Military Action on Iran

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© Reuters. © Reuters. – The Nasdaq notched a record close Wednesday after President Donald Trump’s remarks stoked hopes of an end to rising U.S.-Iran tensions, easing fears of direct military conflict in the Middle East.

The gained 0.48%, while the rose 0.67% and the climbed 0.56%.

A sigh of relief swept through the broader market as Trump opted to impose new economic sanctions on Iran rather than call for military action against the Islamic Republic.

“Iran appears to be standing down, which is a good thing for all parties concerned,” Trump said in a speech following Iran’s strikes on several U.S. military bases.

“The fact that we have this great military and equipment, however, does not mean we have to use it,” the president added.

Rising hopes that both nations will seek to de-escalate tensions reduced expectations of oil supply disruption in the Middle East, sending oil prices plunging 5% and keeping energy stocks in red.

Ahead of the speech, oil prices were on the back foot following an unexpected build in weekly crude supplies.

But the plunge in energy was more than offset by a rally in tech, underpinned by gains in Microsoft (NASDAQ:) and Apple (NASDAQ:) amid bullish remarks from Wall Street.

Morgan Stanley raised its target on Microsoft (NASDAQ:) to $189 from $157, on expectations that the tech giant is set to deliver strong performance in the coming year.

Wedbush, meanwhile, said robust iPhone 11 sales during the holiday season and strong AirPods performance should lead to “clear upside” in Apple’s upcoming quarterly earnings report.

Boeing (NYSE:), however, failed to join the broad-based rally, falling 1% after Cowen downgraded shares of the aircraft maker and concerns over its operational fleet continued after one of its jets was involved in a fatal crash in Iran.

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