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Stocks end firm to cap banner year

Stocks rose modestly on the last trading day of the year Tuesday, capping a year that generated eye-popping returns. Investors shrugged off President Donald Trump's tweet that a Phase 1 trade deal with China would be signed January 15th. The major indexes gained three-tenths percent on the day. For 2019, the S&P rose nearly 29% and the Nasdaq gained 35% -- both posting their best yearly performance since 2013.

Fi Plan Partners president Greg Powell:


"I think today basically people just saying, 'Hey, it's been a great year. If I need to take some profits or take some losses, I'll just get that worked out today.'"

Shares of Tencent Music Entertainment rose. The Chinese company is leading a consortium that will buy a 10% stake in Vivendi's Universal Music Group, home to artists such as Taylor Swift and The Beatles.

Dick's Sporting Goods shares rallied. Cowen raised its price target and earnings estimates on the sporting goods retailer.

Shares of Avon fell. The cosmetic company will be removed from the S&P Small Cap 600 index on January 6. Shares of the company replacing it, NexPoint Residential Trust, jumped.