Benchmarks closed mixed on Wednesday as the House prepared to vote to impeach President Trump for the second time. Significant gain in tech stocks pushed the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq to book modest gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) fell 8.22 points or less than 0.1%, to close at 31,060.47 and the S&P 500 added 8.65 points, or 0.2%, to close at 3,809.84. The Nasdaq Composite Index closed at 13,128.95, adding 56.52 points, or 0.4%. The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) decreased 4.8%, to close at 22.21. Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones for 1.36-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 1.01-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq favored decliners. How Did the Benchmarks Perform? Of the 11 major sectors of the S&P 500 seven ended in the green, with utilities and real estate sectors emerging as the biggest gainers closing 1.9% and 1.4% higher, respectively on Wednesday. While the defensive sectors led percentage gains the biggest losers of the broader index were the economically sensitive cyclical sectors such as materials and industrials. Though the Dow closed in the red, Intel Corporation ( INTC Quick Quote INTC - Free Report) was among its highest gainers, rising nearly 7% after the company announced that it would replace Chief Executive Officer Bob Swan with VMware’s CEO Pat Gelsinger next month. Intel carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here. Gain in shares of Intel, along with a 7.3% jump in Peloton Interactive, Inc. ( PTON Quick Quote PTON - Free Report) propelled the Nasdaq on Wednesday. Other heavyweight tech-stocks like Netflix, Inc. ( NFLX Quick Quote NFLX - Free Report) and Amazon.com, Inc. ( AMZN Quick Quote AMZN - Free Report) also closed 2.7% and 1.4% higher for the day. On Wednesday, the S&P 500 posted 43 new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq Composite recorded 239 new highs and three new lows. Turmoil in Washington Persists Investors kept a close watch on news coming out of Washington on Wednesday as the House moved to vote for the impeachment of President Donald Trump for the second time. The House of Representative went forward to vote in favor of impeaching Trump and charged him with inciting an insurrection following the riot at Capitol Hill last week. However, on Tuesday night Vice President Mike Pence said that he will not remove President Trump from office. Coronavirus cases continue to increase worldwide and per a CNBC report, the United States is recording at least 247,600 new cases and at least 3,340 virus-related deaths each day, based on a seven-day average derived using Johns Hopkins University data as of Jan 13. Stocks mostly closed marginally higher as traders remained optimistic about more fiscal aid from President-elect Joe Biden’s administration. Additionally, Federal Reserve officials assured ongoing support for the central bank’s bond buying program. In the past few sessions, benchmarks have held up near record territory, as investors focused on the potential for the initial COVID-19 vaccines rollout and Biden plan to secure fiscal additional stimulus for the economy, instead of prevailing political risks. Legal Marijuana: An Investor’s Dream Imagine getting in early on a young industry primed to skyrocket from $17.7 billion in 2019 to an expected $73.6 billion by 2027. Although marijuana stocks did better as the pandemic took hold than the market as a whole, they’ve been pushed down. This is exactly the right time to get in on selected strong companies at a fraction of their value before COVID struck. Zacks’ Special Report, Marijuana Moneymakers, reveals 10 exciting tickers for urgent consideration.
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