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Stock Market News For Nov 23, 2018

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Wall Street closed mostly higher on Wednesday buoyed by a partial recovery for energy stocks which have been the worst performers recently. However, trading was highly volatile as all three major stock indexes lost most of their gains due to precipitous decline of Apple’s shares. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite ended in positive territory while the Dow was almost flat. The market was closed on Thursday on occasion of Thanksgiving Day.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) closed at 24,464.69, down a mere 0.95 points. However, the S&P 500 Index (INX) increased 0.3% to close at 2,649.93. The Nasdaq Composite Index (IXIC) closed at 6,972.25, advancing 0.9%. A total of 6.5 billion shares were traded on Wednesday, lower than the last 20-session average of 8.5 billion shares. Advancers outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 2.77-to-1 ratio. On the Nasdaq, advancers had an edge over decliners by 2.91-to-1 ratio.  The CBOE VIX decreased 7.5% to close at 20.80.  

How Did the Benchmarks Perform?

The Dow ended almost flat reversing its two-day rout. However, at its session high, the blue-chip index was up 204.15 points. Notably, half of the 30-stock index closed in the green while remaining half finished in the red. The tech-laden Nasdaq Composite finished in the green after three straight day buoyed by good performance of tech giants.

Meanwhile, the S&P 500 also closed in positive territory after declining for two consecutive days. Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE), Communications Services Select Sector SPDR (XLC) and Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR (XLY) are major gainers with 1.6%, 1.2% and 1.1%, respectively. Notably, seven out of total 11 sectors of the benchmark index closed in the green while four finished in the red.

Energy Stocks Rebound

On Nov 21, energy sector stocks recovered partially following news that major oil exporters including OPEC will meet in early December to take a decision regarding production cuts in order to boost prices.

January future price of U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rose $1.20 or 2.3% to settle at $54.63 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Likewise, January future price of global benchmark Brent crude grew $0.95, or 1.5% to end at $63.48 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe.

Consequently, shares of major oil producers and explorers like Chevron Corp. (CVX - Free Report) and EOG Resources Inc. (EOG - Free Report) were up 1.3% and 3.6%, respectively.

Apple’s Nosedive Continues

On Nov 21, shares of Apple Inc. (AAPL - Free Report) declined 0.1% marking its eighth negative close over the past ten trading days. The stock closed at $176.78 from an intraday high of $180.27. Notably, thetech-behemoth is currently at bear market territory. At present, shares of Apple are down 23.6% from its recent peak recorded in Oct 3.

Various component suppliers of Apple have reduced their sale guidance due to weak demand from the company. Several analysts have also reduced future sales prospects of iPhones. All these negatives intensified fears of a global economic slowdown. Apple carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Economic Data

On Nov 21, the Department of Labor reported that weekly initial jobless claims rose 3,000 to a seasonally adjusted 224,000 for the week ended Nov.17, marking the highest level since the end of June. The figure was also higher than the consensus estimate of 213,000. Meanwhile, continuing jobless claims figure dropped 2,000 to 1.67 million for the week ended Nov 10.

The Department of Commerce reported that durable goods orders for the month of October fell 4.4%, reflecting its largest decline in 15 months. The decline was also wider-than the consensus estimate of a fall of 2.6%. Dip in October data occurred primarily due to a 21.4% decline in commercial jets and 59% plunge for fighter jets and other military aircraft orders. The decline in October was the third in the last four months.

The National Association of Realtors reported that existing home sales grew 1.4% in October to 5.22 million, better-than the consensus estimate of 5.18 million. Octobermarked the first monthly increase of existing home sales in six months.

Stocks That Made Headline

BP's Clair Ridge Commences Production After Four Decades

BP plc (BP - Free Report) commenced production at the Clair Ridge oil field in the U.K. North Sea. The field is considered as one of the country's biggest new oil developments in decades. (Read More)

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