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Markets Close Mixed; Toll Brothers (TOL) Puts Up Record Quarter

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Markets were mixed in Monday trading, much as they had been when the opening bell rang this morning. The “Vaccine Rally” looks to be approaching something of a parabolic top, or it would appear so as new questions regarding a new relief bill from Congress are yet unanswered. With a self-imposed deadline of Friday, when the House plans to adjourn for the holidays, an elusive post-CARES Act agreement would require few, if any, missteps from here.

The vaccine companies themselves performed well on the day, particularly Moderna (MRNA - Free Report) , which rose 4.6% on the day. Pfizer (PFE - Free Report) gained 2.3%. Neither company is expected to have its CEO attend tomorrow’s White House ceremony praising Operation Warp Speed, as those companies’ candidates remain under review with the FDA. But as we see in the UK and other countries, acceptance and now delivery of these top vaccine candidates are making their way through the system — our Covid vaccines are now closer than ever.

Elsewhere, Apple (AAPL - Free Report) shares also gained around 1% on the day, as reports on its new Mac chips suggest they will be on their way to new Apple laptops as soon as next year. This is a good sign for Apple customers overall, but it would necessarily be a bad one for chipmakers supplying Macbooks presently, particularly Intel (INTC - Free Report) . This adds to Intel’s headwinds earlier put into play from chip competitors like Micron (MU - Free Report) . Intel shares fell 3.4% in regular Monday trading.

Luxury homebuilder Toll Brothers (TOL - Free Report) outperformed estimates on both top and bottom lines Monday after the closing bell, with $1.55 per share easily surpassing the Zacks consensus of $1.23, which swung to year over year growth from an expected pullback relating to year-ago earnings of $1.41 per share. Home sales in the quarter came in at $2.55 billion, up 9% year over year and outpacing the expected $2.05 billion.

The Fort Washington, PA-based homebuilder, which carried a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) into the earnings release, entered Q1 guidance of 1675 homes delivered between a list price range of $780-800K. For full-year 2021, roughly 10K homes are expected to be delivered at a median price of $800K. Gross margins for Q1 are expected to reach 22.4%; full-year guidance is for 24.1%. It’s the hottest home market Toll Brothers has seen in 30 years, with net signed contracts +68% — an all-time high for any quarter in the company’s history.

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