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Stock Market News for April 12, 2017

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Benchmarks closed in the red on Tuesday as investors remained concerned over increase in geopolitical tensions including the U.S. attack on a Syrian air base and possible conflict with North Korea. Investors remained focused on upcoming corporate earningsresults while they also raised questions over Trump’s ability to implement deregulation policies. Meanwhile, Trump’s comments on revamping the Dodd-Frank law helped stocks pare losses.

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) declined a meagre 0.03% to close at 20,651.30. The S&P 500 fell 0.1% to close at 2,353.78. The tech-laden Nasdaq Composite Index closed at 5,866.77, gaining 0.2%. The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) gained 7.3% to 15.07, the highest level in five months. A total of around 6.4 billion shares were traded on Tuesday, lower than the last 20-session average of 6.7 billion shares. Advancers outpaced declining stocks on the NYSE. For 60% stocks that advanced, 37% declined.     

Geopolitical Tensions

Investors remained focused on rising geopolitical tensions. The U.S. hinted at possible military intervention to remove Syrian President Bashar Assad from power who was held responsible for a chemical attack on Syrian citizens. U.S. carried out a cruise missile attack last week on a Syrian airbase as a response to the chemical attack in Syria. Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met members of the G7 countries to discuss Assad’s role in the chemical attack. This is expected to raise tensions between U.S. and Assad’s ally Russia.

Meanwhile, U.S. sent a Navy strike group to the North Korean Peninsula last Sunday, as a show of force amid escalating tensions between the two countries. The act prompted North Korean officials to declare that it was ready for any further military moves by the U.S. President Trump had cautioned North Korea over its outrageous nuclear weapons program and has said he will deal with the country in case China does not help in this regard.

Domestic Concerns 

Investors kept a close watch on upcoming corporate earnings in order to determine whether current lofty equity valuations are justified. Major Banks like JPMorgan (JPM - Free Report) , Citigroup (C - Free Report) and Wells Fargo (WFC - Free Report) are scheduled to report their earnings on Thursday. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

The first-quarter rally slowed down this month after Trump failed to pass the healthcare bill through the House of Representatives. The failure of the healthcare bill had a negative impact on investor confidence. Investors raised doubts over Trump administration’s ability to implement his pro-growth agenda, including deregulation measures.

Investors also remained worried about the weaker-than-expected March jobs data and auto sales. The economy added 98,000 new jobs in March, marking the smallest gain in almost a year.  Moreover, U.S. auto sales declined in March. According to WardsAuto, seasonally-adjusted annualized light vehicle sales was lower than the market expectations.   

Repeal of Dodd-Frank Law

Meanwhile, Trump said he would either consider a rewrite or a complete repeal of the Dodd-Frank law. Trump said that the legislation is an impediment to companies who in search of credit. Stocks pared some losses following Trump’s comments on repeal of the Dodd-Frank law.

Stocks that made Headlines

Tractor Supply Stock Down on Q1 Update & Soft Outlook

Shares of Tractor Supply Company (TSCO - Free Report) declined 3.5% in the after-market trading session yesterday, after the company provided an update on first-quarter 2017, wherein comparable store sales (comps) remained soft leading to a weak earnings outlook for the first quarter. (Read More)

NuStar Energy Inks $1.48B Deal to Expand in Permian Basin

San Antonio-based pipeline operator NuStar Energy L.P. (NS - Free Report) recently signed an agreement to acquire the privately held Navigator Energy Services, LLC. (Read More)

American Airlines Group Up on Raised Q1 TRASM View

Shares of Fort Worth, TX-based American Airlines Group (AAL - Free Report) rallied on Apr 11 following a guidance revision. (Read More)

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