Dow, S&P, Nasdaq Close at Fresh Records

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Its previous record high was on Thursday, the first trading day of 2020. -China trade deal rose and several brokerages boosted price targets on high-profile companies.

Stocks have been rallying since Wednesday, after investors took comments from President Donald Trump and Iranian officials to mean no military escalation is imminent in their tense conflict.

All three major indices were around or above their all-time closing highs as investors became more confident the fight between Teheran and Washington after the United States killed an Iranian commander won't escalate significantly. The United States and China also moved toward an interim deal in their trade war. China said its top trade negotiator, Vice Premier Liu He, will travel to Washington next week to sign a phase-one accord, building optimism among stock investors.

Stocks have been on a multiday tear since the US and China said they would sign their preliminary trade pact - an obstacle that hung over the stock market for about two years. Technology stocks rose 0.9%, the most among the major S&P sectors.

"Some of the things that have been worrying the market have gotten pushed to the side of the table", said Peter Tuz, president of Chase Investment Counsel in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Taiwan election to test the reach of China's influence
The election has been characterised by a flood of fake news and disinformation, campaigns observers believe came from China. Taiwan does not allow absentee voting, so thousands of Taiwanese living overseas flew back to Taiwan to cast their ballot.

Investors have been closely monitoring tensions between the United States and Iran after the USA killing of a top Iranian general last week and Iran's retaliatory measures this week.

At 12:01 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 204.40 points, or 0.72%, at 28,788.08, the S&P 500 was up 22.02 points, or 0.68%, at 3,259.20 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 64.35 points, or 0.71%, at 9,132.94.

Among the weak spots was the department store operator Kohl's Corp, which slid 9.2 per cent after reporting lower holiday season sales. Energy declined about 0.3 percent, becoming the worst-performing group.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.35-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.40-to-1 ratio favored advancers. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq each shed almost 0.3%.

Friday's calm session was in stark contrast of the week's overall trading action as investors grappled with tensions between Iran and the U.S.

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