Wall Street maintained its northbound momentum for the third straight days driven by hopes that new vaccines will soon come to the market to contain the deadly coronavirus-led infections. Strong economic data also bolstered investor’s sentiments. All three major stock indexes ended sharply higher.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) rallied 1.7% or 483.22 points to close at 29,290.85. The S&P 500 jumped 1.1% to close at 3,334.69. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite Index closed at 9,508.68, gaining 0.4%. The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) declined 5.6% to close at 15.15. A total of 8 billion shares were traded Wednesday, higher than the last 20-session average of 7.7 billion. Advancers outnumbered decliners on the NYSE 3.14-to-1 ratio. On Nasdaq, a 2.41-to-1 ratio favored advancing issues.
How Did The Benchmarks Perform?
The Dow closed in Positive territory with 24 components of the 30-stock index closing in the green while 6 ended in red, marking the blue-chip index’s highest daily percentage gain in more than five months. The Nasdaq Composite also ended in the positive territory due to strong performance by large-cap stocks. The tech-heavy index recoded a fresh closing high after closing above 9,500 for the first time.
The S&P 500 finished in the green, reflecting the benchmark index’s best daily percentage gain in six months. The Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) and the Financials Select Sector SPDR (XLF) surged 3.8% and 2%, respectively. Notably, all 11 sectors of the benchmark index closed in the green.
Hope for Coronavirus Vaccines
Despite the World Health Organization’s declaration that there are “no known effective therapeutics” against the coronavirus, market participants are hopeful that some vaccines will come to the market anytime soon. Per SKY News,U.K. researchers had made progress in lab tests toward a vaccine similarly to the treatment of SARS.
A research team at Zhejiang University claimed that they have found a cocktail of drugs, namely Abidol and Darunavir, which they claimed is proven effective at stanching the virus in infected patients. A group of medical scientists in Thailand pointed to a combination of Lopinavir and Ritonavir as an effective treatment for coronavirus.
Fourth Quarter Earnings Results
Ford Motor Co. (F - Free Report) delivered fourth-quarter 2019 adjusted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.12, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $0.17.Ford registered overall revenue figures of $39.7 billion in fourth-quarter 2019, down from the year-ago quarter’s $41.8 billion. (Read More)
Boot Barn Holdings Inc. (BOOT - Free Report) came out with quarterly earnings of $0.81 per share, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $0.85 per share. It posted revenues of $284 million for the quarter ended December 2019, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 0.02%. (Read More)
General Motors Co. (GM - Free Report) reported adjusted earnings of $0.05 per share in fourth-quarter 2019 as against the Zacks Estimate for loss of $0.11. However, revenues of $30,826 million missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $35,249 million. (Read More)
Consequently, shares of General Motors gained 1.9% while Ford and Boot Burn plunged 9.5% and 9.8%, respectively. General Motors carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
The Institute of Supply Management reported that services index in January came in at 55.5 beating the consensus estimate of 55.1 and the previous month’s revised metric of 54.9. January’s reading was highest in six months. Notably, any reading above 50 means expansion of services activities and a reading above 55 means exceptionally strong expansions. New orders rose slightly in January and production hit the highest level since August. Twelve out of 18 service sector industries have expanded.
Automatic Data Processing Inc. reported that U.S. private-sector employment soared 291,000 in January, reflecting largest monthly gain in four years. Per ADP, small businesses added 94,000, medium-sized businesses added 128,000 and large companies added 69,000 jobs.
U.S. trade deficit fell 1.7% year over year in 2019 to $617, marking its first yearly decline in six years. However, trade deficit in December jumped 12% to $48.9 billion.
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