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Stock Market News for December 12, 2016

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Benchmarks finished in the green on Friday as recently beaten down sector saw an impressive rebound. Gains in sectors like consumer staples and healthcare led all the three key indexes to settle at record highs, with the S&P 500 reached its record high levels for third consecutive session. Also, the index posted gains for six consecutive trading days, its best winning stretch since June, 2014. Further, all key indexes registered weekly gains with the Dow reporting its fifth straight weeks of gains.

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 0.7%, or 142.04 points, to close at 19,756.85. The S&P 500 rose 0.6% to close at 2,259.53. The tech-laden Nasdaq Composite Index closed at 5,444.50, gaining 0.5%. The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) fell 7% to settle at 11.75. A total of around 7.4 billion shares were traded on Friday, lower than the last 20-session average of 7.5 billion shares. Decliners marginally outpaced advancing stocks on the NYSE. For 49% stocks that declined, 48% advanced.

What Boosted the Benchmarks?

Expectations that Donald Trump will adopt new policies including expansionary infrastructure spending, financial deregulation and tax cuts continued to have a positive impact on broader markets. On Friday, investors shifted their focus more toward consumer staples and healthcare sectors, which lagged behind the month long rally registered by broader markets.

Moreover, shares of Coca-Cola Company (KO - Free Report) increased 2.5% after announcing that its CEO Muhtar Kent, will be stepping down after 8 years. He’ll be replaced by Coca-Cola’s current President, 51-year-old James Quincey.

Gains in Coca-Cola led the Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP) to advance 1.4% and become the biggest gainer among the S&P 500 sectors. Some of its key components including, Procter & Gamble Company (PG - Free Report) and Altria Group, Inc. ( (MO - Free Report) rose 1% and 1.4%, respectively. Both the companies possess a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here .

Additionally, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company’s (BMY - Free Report) shares rose 3.3% after the company increased its quarterly dividend by 2.6% to $0.39 per share, starting in next year’s first quarter. This in turn led the Health Care Select Sector SPDR (XLV) to increase 1.2% and become the second best performing sector in the S&P 500. Its two key holdings Johnson & Johnson ( (JNJ - Free Report) and Pfizer Inc. (PFE - Free Report) advanced 1.1% and 2.5%, respectively.

Further, preliminary reading of the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index rose from 93.8 in November to 98 this month, reaching its best level since January 2015. It was also higher than the consensus estimate of 94.6.

Weekly Roundup

For the week, both the Dow and S&P 500 rose 3.1% and the Nasdaq advanced 3.6%. Most of last week’s gains came on the back of Trump induced rally and encouraging domestic economic data. Expectations over Trump’s economic policies continued to boost markets, while strong service data helped investors offset Italian referendum concerns. Also, investor sentiment bolstered after ECB’s announcement about trimming bond-buying volume.

Stocks That Made Headlines

American Airlines Gains on Bullish Q4 Unit Revenue View

American Airlines Group (AAL - Free Report) continued its impressive performance following the bullish guidance unveiled by the company for the fourth quarter of 2016. (Read More)

Bed Bath and Beyond Loses its Place in Nasdaq-100

The NASDAQ-100 Index as part of its annual re-ranking process has decided to remove Bed, Bath & Beyond Inc. (BBBY - Free Report) . ( Read More)

NVIDIA to Move Further into Autonomous Car Market

NVIDIA Corporation (NVDA - Free Report) has been putting in a lot of effort over the last few years to strengthen its position in several emerging industries. ( Read More)

Phillips 66 Sets 2017 Capital Budget at $2.7 Billion

Phillips 66 (PSX - Free Report) recently provided the capital budget for 2017 at $2.7 billion. ( Read More)

Sprint Offers Unlimited High Speed Data in Mexico & Caribbean

Sprint Corp. (S - Free Report) announced that it will provide unlimited high-speed data through its ‘Unlimited Freedom’ and ‘Sprint Open World’ plans. ( Read More)

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