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Stock Market News for Jan 28, 2020

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U.S. equities closed sharply lower on Monday, as Coronavirus claimed more lives and investors remained worried about the impact of the fast-spreading illness on the global economy. China continued to take more serious measures in a bid to stop the disease from spreading further. The Asian country went as far as postponing the end of this week’s Lunar New Year holiday to avoid large gatherings and keeping the public at home.

The three major indexes— the Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite — closed in the red on Monday. The Dow and S&P 500 hit 28,535.80 and 3,243.63 respectively after declining1.6% each. The Nasdaq Composite finished at 9,139.31 after declining 1.9%.

The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) rose 25.2% to close at 18.23 on Jan 27. Finally, decliners outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by a 3.29-to-1 ratio.

Coronavirus Death Toll Rises

Death toll because of Coronavirus was reported at 80 by the World Health Organization as of Monday, as number of infected people went as high as 3000. In the United States alone, at least 110 people across 26 states are under investigation for the disease, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials said on Jan 27.

Hong Kong announced that it would not allow visitors from the mainland province at the heart of the virus outbreak. Travel agencies were ordered to call off group tours throughout the country following a warning the virus’s capacity to spread was rising.

Impressive Earnings Continue to Surface

Shares of D.R. Horton, Inc. (DHI - Free Report) gained 2% after the company reported better-than-expected results in first-quarter fiscal 2020, owing to its industry-leading market share, broad geographic footprint and reasonably priced product offerings across various brands.

The homebuilder anticipates demand to remain strong for the rest of fiscal 2020. The company’s adjusted earnings were reported at 99 cents per share in the said quarter, outpacing the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 7.6%.

Total revenues (homebuilding, Forestar and financial services) came in at $4.02 billion, which was up 14.3% year over year. The reported figure also surpassed the consensus mark of $3.78 billion. (Read more)

Shares of Whirlpool Corporation WHR rose 0.8% after the company reported quarterly earnings of $4.91 per share, easily surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $4.30. The appliances maker’s higher earnings were a result of higher prices and a pullback in expenses, which were done to lessen the impact of higher production costs. (Read more)

Both D.R. Horton and Whirlpool carry a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

New Home Sales Drop in December

Sales of new single-family homes in the country unexpectedly declined in December, mostly due to a shortage of more affordable homes although lower mortgage rates continue to support the housing market.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, new home sales shed 0.4% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 694,000 units last month. December’s drop was the third straight monthly decline in sales. An estimated 681,000 new homes were sold last year, which is 10.3% above the 2018 figure of 617,000.

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D.R. Horton, Inc. (DHI) - free report >>