Benchmarks closed higher on Thursday with the S&P 500 hitting another record close for this year. Such gains were buoyed by gains in real estate, materials and financial stocks. Meanwhile, the Russell 2000 logged its second successive record close. Also, a rally in shares of McDonald’s boosted gains for the Dow. In the third estimate for GDP, rate of growth of the U.S. economy was revised from 3% to 3.1%.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) closed at 22,381, gaining 0.2%. The S&P 500 Index (INX) increased 0.1% to close at 2,510.06. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite Index (IXIC) closed at 6,453.45, increasing 0.1%. Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1.22-to-1 ratio. On the Nasdaq, advancers outnumbered decliners by 1.33-to-1 ratio. The CBOE VIX decreased 3.2% to close at 9.55.
S&P 500, Russell 2000 Index Notched Up Record Highs
Markets ended higher on Thursday. The S&P 500 gained 3.02 points to end the session at 2510.06, reaching within 0.1% of an all-time high. This marked its 38th record close for the year 2017. Of the 11 major sectors of the S&P 500, nine ended in the positive territory, with real estate and materials leading the advancers. The Real Estate Select Sector SPDR (XLRE) and Materials Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLB) gained 0.7% each. Material stocks were boosted by a rally in shares of Eastman Chemical Co. (EMN - Free Report) , which gained 3%.
Moreover, financial stocks also gained after SPDR S&P Bank ETF (KBE) ended 0.5% higher to close at 44.86, marking its 10th successive day of gains for the first time. The Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLF) gained 0.2%. Also, Treasury yields hit record highs. The 2-year yield traded at 1.45% after reaching 1.499% – its highest level since Nov 4, 2008.
The Russell 2000 index increased almost 4 points, gaining 0.3% to end the session at a record 1,488.79. This marked its second straight record close in as many days.
Dow Edges Higher, Buoyed by McDonald’s
The Dow gained 40 points to end the session in the green. Such gains were made possible by a rally in shares of McDonald’s (MCD - Free Report) , which gained almost 2.2% after analyst Alton Stump from Longbow Research raised his rating on the stock to $183 — 16% above the prevalent levels. The company possesses a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
On the other hand, Dow Jones Transport Average (DJT) notched up a record close at 9,886.82, gaining 44.83 points.
GOP’s New Tax Code Boost Markets
Members of the Republican Party revealed comprehensive changes to the current tax code of the United States on Wednesday. In an announcement, Trump and his aides unveiled new reforms in tax policies which effectively lower taxes on businesses and individuals.
The proposal seeks to decrease the corporate tax rate from 35% to 20%. Moreover, the pass-through business taxes — currently categorized under the individual tax code — would be slashed to 25%. Subsequently, the plan also revealed that the current seven personal tax slabs would be reduced to only three at 12%, 25% and 35%, respectively. The Trump administration also revealed that standard deduction would be doubled and child tax credit will be increased by a considerable amount. Such positive statements from top Republicans boosted investor sentiment.
GDP – The Third Estimate
The rate of growth of the U.S. economy was revised from 3% to 3.1% in the latest revision of the GDP by the government. Inventories logged a growth of $5.5 million. Consumer spending for the last quarter remained unchanged at 3.3%; business investment in structures grew 7%.
Moreover, the exports were revised to a 3.5% gain and the imports grew 1.5%. The annualized pre-tax profits grew 0.7% to $2.12 trillion. Economists commented that a revision in the GDP data reflects increased farmer inventories.
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