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Stock Market News for Jan 17, 2020

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U.S. stock market rallied impressively on Thursday supported by solid economic data. Trade deal also bolstered investors’ confidence. Fourth-quarter 2019 earnings results are also pouring in the market. All three major stock indexes finished sharply higher.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) soared 0.9% or 267.42 points to close at 29,297.64. The S&P 500 surged 0.8% to close at 3,316.81. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite Index closed at 9,357.13, climbing 1.1%. The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) decreased 0.8% to close at 12.32. A total of 6.9 billion shares were traded Thursday, lower than the last 20-session average of 7 billion. Advancers outnumbered advancers on the NYSE 2.57-to-1 ratio. On Nasdaq, a 2.78-to-1 ratio favored advancing issues.   

How Did The Benchmarks Perform?

The Dow closed in positive territory with 26 components of the 30-stock index closing in the green while 4 ended in red. The Nasdaq Composite also ended in the positive territory due to strong performance by large-cap tech stocks. The S&P 500 finished in the green. For the first time history, the benchmark index closed above the technical barrier of 3,300. The Technology Select Sector SPDR (XLK) and the Industrials Select Sector SPDR (XLI) gained 1.3% and 1%, respectively.  Notably, all 11 sectors of the benchmark index closed in the green.

Solid Economic Data

The Department of Commerce reported that retail sales grew 0.3% in December, in line with the consensus estimate. November’s retail sales growth rate revised upward to 0.3% from 0.2% reported earlier. Barring auto dealers and department stores, every major group posted higher sales in December. For full year, retail sales jumped 5.8%, marginally above the past 30 years’ average.

The Department of Labor reported that initial jobless claims declined 10,000 to 204,000 for the week ended Jan 11. The figure was lower than the consensus estimate of 221,000 as well as previous week’s data of 214,000. The number of people already collecting unemployment benefits, popularly known as continuing claims, decreased 37,000 to 1.77 million.

The Philadelphia Fed business activity index jumped to 17 in January from a mere 2.4 in December, marking its highest reading in eight months. Notably, any reading above zero indicates expansion of business activities.

The National Association of Home Builders’ monthly confidence index dropped to 75 in January from 76 in December. However, January’s data still remains near to the highest reading since 1999. Notably, December’s reading was the highest since 1999.

Q4 Earnings Session in Full Swing

Morgan Stanley (MS - Free Report) reported that its fourth-quarter 2019 adjusted earnings of $1.20 per share outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $0.98.Net revenues for the quarter were $10.86 billion, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $9.52 billion.

Consequently, shares of the Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stocks soared 6.6%.  You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Stocks That Made Headlines

CSX Q4 Earnings Top on Low Costs, Stock Down on Revenue Miss

CSX Corp. CSX reported fourth-quarter 2019 earnings of 99 cents per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 97 cents. However, the bottom line slipped approximately 2% year over year due to lower revenues. (Read More)

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