Benchmarks closed at record highs for the fourth straight session on Wednesday, pushed by a series of upbeat economic data. Persisting hopes for a possible U.S.-China trade deal also boosted stocks, however, trading volumes were mostly lesser than usual because of the Thanksgiving Day holiday. Stock markets were closed on Thursday.
The three major indexes— the Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite — finished in the green on Nov 27. Dow closed at 28,164.00 after increasing 0.2%, the S&P 500 finished at 3,153.63 after rising 0.4% and the tech-laden Nasdaq Composite closed at 8,705.17 after adding 0.7%.
The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) gained 5.5% to close at 12.39 on Wednesday. Finally, advancers outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by a 1.52-to-1 ratio.
Economic Data Deluge
A wide range of economic data dominated the day on Wednesday.
The economic growth in the United States took place at a faster pace in the third-quarter 2019, contrary to the initial report of a slowdown during the period. According to the second estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, gross domestic product expanded at a rate of 2.1% during the quarter ended September 2019 period, somewhat faster than initially reported.
Orders for durable goods shot up sharply in October, thanks to the rise in demand for defense-related goods such as military jets and ships. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, new orders for manufactured durable goods rose $1.5 billion (0.6%) to $248.7 billion last month. This increase in October, which was up four out of the last five months, followed a 1.4% decline in September.
Initial claimsfor unemployment benefits decreased 15,000 to a seasonally adjusted 213,000 for the week ended Nov 23, per the Labor Department on Nov 27. Continuing claims, i.e., the number of people already collecting unemployment benefits, declined 57,000 to 1.64 million. These unemployment claims are still close to the lowest level since the early 1970s.
Finally, U.S. consumer spending climbed in October for the eighth straight month, edging 0.3% higher than the prior month. Consumers spent more on natural gas and electricity in October while new autos and parts were little spent on.
Tech giants Apple Inc. (AAPL - Free Report) and Facebook, Inc. (FB - Free Report) played a role in Wednesday’s gains, gaining 1.3% and 1.5% respectively while retail giant Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN - Free Report) increased 1.2% and media streaming company Netflix, Inc. (NFLX - Free Report) added 1.1%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
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