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Markets finished higher on Monday following a spectacular run by all the benchmark indexes. Moreover, strong expectations from third quarter earnings boosted broad based gains for the markets. Meanwhile, Netflix reported strong earnings in the third quarter, which also bolstered the major indexes. However, Trump’s comments on the Iran nuclear deal weighed on investor sentiment.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) closed at 22,956.96, gaining 0.4%. The S&P 500 Index (INX) increased 0.2% to close at 2,557.64. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite Index (IXIC) closed at 6,624, increasing 0.3%. A total of 5.5 billion shares were traded on Monday, lower than the last 20-session average of 5.9 billion shares. Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1.02-to-1 ratio. On the Nasdaq, decliners outnumbered advancers by 1.10-to-1 ratio. The CBOE VIX increased 2.6% to close at 9.86.

Apple, JPMorgan Catapults the Dow Higher

The Dow amassed 85.24 points on Monday to end in positive territory. Gains for the blue chip index were boosted by a rise in shares of both JPMorgan (JPM - Free Report) and Apple, Inc. (AAPL - Free Report) . Shares of JPMorgan rallied 2% and added to most of the gains for the Dow. There was an uptick of 1.8% in shares of Apple after analysts from KeyBanc Capital Markets rated the stock as overweight on expectations that the tech giant would far exceed earnings expectations in 2018. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Netflix Reports Strong Earnings, Revenues;

Shares of streaming service provider, Netflix (NFLX - Free Report) surged 1.6% after the company reported strong third quarter 2017 earnings. The companyreleased its third quarter fiscal 2017 earnings results, posting earnings of 29 cents per share and revenue of $2.99 billion. Currently, NFLX is a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

The company saw revenue figures (including DVD) of $2.99 billion, just edging past our consensus estimate of $2.97 billion and growing 30.3% year-over-year. Total streaming revenues came in at $2.875 billion, increasing over 33% from the prior year.

Memberships Rise, Markets Move Higher

Netflix added 5.3 million memberships globally, up 49% year-over-year, thanks to a “strong appetite for our original series and films, as well as the adoption of internet entertainment across the world.” Year-to-date net adds stand at 15.5 million. The company also reported total international memberships of 56.48 million and total U.S. memberships of 52.77. (Read More)

Such gains also boosted the broader markets. The S&P 500 advanced 4.5 points, with seven of its 11 major sectors ending in the green. Gains for the S&P 500 were led by financial stocks. The FinancialSelect Sector SPDR ETF (XLF) gained 0.6%. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq added about 18 points to close the session among gains.

Geopolitical Tensions Weigh on Investor Sentiment

Fresh geopolitical tensions with Iran kept investors on tenterhooks. Although, fears regarding North Korea seem to have ebbed, President Trump’s allegation that Iran is a ‘rogue regime’ gave investors the jitters. Trump chose not to certify Iran’s compliance with a nuclear deal struck in 2015. He reasoned that the country continued to ‘sponsor terrorism’ and in effect disrupted international peace. He also described the deal as ‘one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into.’

He announced a new strategy for Iran which places fresh sanctions on the country that requires it to cut off its funding toward ‘terrorism.’ He also threatened to terminate the agreement sometime in the future if Iran does not ‘comply’ with the terms of deal.

Stocks That Made Headlines

BP Midstream Partners to Raise $893M From IPO Offering

A unit of British oil giant BP plc (BP - Free Report) , BP Midstream Partners, is planning to raise funds from its initial public offering of about $893 million. (Read More)

Nordstrom Falls: Will Privatization Surface Post Holiday?

Shares of upscale departmental store retailer, Nordstrom, Inc. (JWN - Free Report) lost 5.3% on Oct 16 on the news that Nordstrom family’s plans to take the company private are on hold for the time being. (Read More)

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