Benchmarks finished mixed on Wednesday after strong durable orders and Donald Trump’s economic agenda boosted the industrial sector. Both the Dow and S&P 500 reached record high levels for the third straight session following continued expectations that Donald Trump will adopt new policies to improve the economy. However, the Nasdaq finished in the red following losses in biotech companies due to disappointing drug trial results. Markets were closed on Thursday following the Thanksgiving Day holiday.
For a look at the issues currently facing the markets, make sure to read today’s Ahead of Wall Street article.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) increased 0.3%, to close at 19,083.18. The S&P 500 rose 0.1% to close at 2,204.72. Meanwhile, the tech-laden Nasdaq Composite Index closed at 5,380.68, losing 0.1%. The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) rose 0.1% to settle at 12.43. A total of around 6.5 billion shares were traded on Wednesday, lower than the last 20-session average of 8.1 billion shares. Advancers marginally outpaced declining stocks on the NYSE. For 49% stocks that advanced, 48% declined.
What Boosted the Dow and S&P 500?
Continued expectations that Donald Trump will adopt new policies including, expansionary infrastructure spending, environmental and financial deregulation and tax cuts had a positive impact on the Dow and S&P 500.
Moreover, orders for durable goods in the U.S. registered its best increase in a year. Durable orders increased by 4.8%, significantly higher than the consensus estimate of a rise of 1.8%. Excluding transportation, orders rose 1% last month. Demand for heavy machinery, computers and electrical equipment increased.
Rising demand for machinery and equipments led the Industrial Select Sector SPDR (XLI) to advance 0.7% and become the best gainer among the S&P 500 sectors. Some of its key holdings including General Electric Company (GE - Free Report) and 3M Company ( (MMM - Free Report) rose 0.5% and 0.2%, respectively. Both the companies possess a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here .
Further, minutes from the Fed’s November meeting showed that following labor market improvements and higher inflation, policy makers were in agreement that interest rates should be raised "relatively soon".
What Weighed on the Nasdaq?
Separately, shares of Eli Lilly and Company (LLY - Free Report) slumped 10.5% after the company announced that in phase III study its Alzheimer’s drug, Solanezumab failed. (Read More: Lilly’s Alzheimer Drug Fails Phase III Study; Stock Down )
Also, Juno Therapeutics Inc’s shares plunged 24.5% following the death of two patients in the company’s cancer trial. Heavy losses in these two companies weighed on the biotech sector and eventually on the Nasdaq.
In other economic news, sales of newly-constructed homes dropped 1.9% in October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 563,000, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. It also missed the consensus estimate of 590,000.
Additionally, number of people who have filled for unemployment benefits last week rose by 18,000 to 251,000, higher than the consensus estimate of 248,000. However, the level remained below the psychological level of 300,000 for 90 consecutive weeks, which indicated moderate job growth in the domestic market.
Stocks That Made Headlines
Juno’s ROCKET Study on Clinical Hold Again, Shares Down
Juno Therapeutics, Inc. announced that it has voluntarily placed a phase II trial of its lead pipeline candidate, JCAR015 on hold after two patients suffered cerebral edema earlier in the week. ( Read More)
Zimmer Biomet Chosen as IUIH Preferred Orthopaedic Partner
Zimmer Biomet Holdings, Inc. (ZBH - Free Report) , a major player in musculoskeletal healthcare, recently announced that it has been selected as an Indo UK Institutes of Health (IUIH) preferred orthopaedic partner. ( Read More)
HP Inc. Q4 Earnings Match Estimates, Revenues Beat
HP Inc. (HPQ - Free Report) released its fourth-quarter fiscal 2016 earnings yesterday, after its split from Hewlett-Packard Company. (Read More)
Hewlett Packard Q4 Earnings In Line, Revenues Lag
Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company (HPE - Free Report) reported modest results for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016 wherein its bottom line matched the Zacks Consensus Estimate but the top line missed the same. ( Read More)
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