US STOCKS-S&P 500, Nasdaq hit new records; Boeing lifts Dow

* Boeing’s shares rise on CEO exit

* Apache Corp up after joint venture with rival Total

* Indexes rise: Dow 0.37%, S&P 0.11%, Nasdaq 0.16% (Updates price action)

Dec 23 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq hit fresh record highs on Monday as President Donald Trump said an initial U.S.-China trade pact would be signed “very shortly”, while Boeing shares lifted the Dow after the planemaker fired its chief executive officer.

The so-called “phase one” deal, announced earlier this month, has helped fuel a rally on Wall Street, with the benchmark index hitting a record closing high on Friday for the seventh time in eight sessions.

Last week, the S&P 500 also logged its biggest weekly percentage gain since early September, and is on track for its best annual performance since 2013.

“The end of the year rally is continuing for the right reasons,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities in New York. “The market is focusing on the fact that we’re seeing some daylight in the trade war.”

China said it would cut tariffs on products including frozen pork, avocado and some types of semiconductors next year.

Boeing Co jumped 3.2% after it ousted Chief Executive Officer Dennis Muilenburg, following a year of intense scrutiny and industrial setbacks set off by twin fatal crashes of its 737 MAX jetliner.

Apple Inc, which is often sensitive to trade-related news, rose 1%. Shares of the company also helped lift the broader S&P 500 technology sector.

At 9:57 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 103.91 points, or 0.37%, at 28,559.00, the S&P 500 was up 3.68 points, or 0.11%, at 3,224.90. The Nasdaq Composite was up 14.16 points, or 0.16%, at 8,939.11.

Apache Corp jumped 7.8%, the most among S&P 500 companies, after the oil and gas producer said it had formed a joint venture with France’s Total to develop a project off Suriname.

Few economic indicators are expected in a trading week shortened by the Christmas holiday, with focus turning to the U.S. personal consumption expenditure deflator for November due on Friday.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.09-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 1.41-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 23 new 52-week highs and no new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 64 new highs and 14 new lows. (Reporting by Manas Mishra and Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Maju Samuel)