MARKET SNAPSHOT: Stocks Rise As Financials Gain; Nike Tumbles After Earnings

By Victor Reklaitis, MarketWatch , Ryan Vlastelica Features Dow Jones Newswires

Investors await details of Republican tax overhaul proposal

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U.S. stocks rose on Wednesday, as a rally in financial shares helped to stabilize major indexes after a recent period of weakness, although a selloff in Nike threatened to give the Dow its fifth straight daily decline.

What are the main equity benchmarks doing?

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 4 points to 22,281, erasing an earlier gain. The S&P 500 was up 1 point to 2,499, off its highs of the day. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 32 points, or 0.5%, to 6,412.

Financials were by far the strongest industry of the day, up 1.1%. Among the biggest gainers on the day, Bank of America(BAC) was up 1.8% while Citigroup (C) added 1.7%. Wells Fargo & Co (WFC) was up 1.2%.

The Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLF) rose 1% and hit its highest level in nearly a decade (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/financial-etf-surges-to-a-decade-high-as-fed-data-help-boost-treasury-yields-2017-09-27).

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What are market participants saying?

"There's nothing really on the worry front, as far as markets go. Valuations are fair to full, but they're being supported by earnings, so we're not concerned about that as it stands right now," said Paul Springmeyer, investment managing director at U.S. Bancorp, which has $148 billion in assets under advisement.

What's driving the market?

Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen said the central bank won't dawdle while raising interest rates (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/yellen-says-fed-should-be-wary-of-raising-rates-too-gradually-2017-09-26). The news was positive for banks, which typically do better in periods of higher rates, do to the positive impact they have on net interest margins.

Read:Why the Fed trumps North Korea when it comes to financial markets (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/why-the-fed-trumps-north-korea-when-it-comes-to-financial-markets-2017-09-27)

What are investors watching out for today?

According to The Wall Street Journal (https://www.wsj.com/articles/republicans-unveil-plan-to-overhaul-u-s-tax-code-1506522802), a plan to overhaul the U.S. tax code looks to sharply reduce tax rates on businesses and many individuals. One of the reasons markets have risen throughout 2017 is the prospect of tax reform passing, which is expected to be a tailwind for markets. However, the Republican Party was unable to pass health-care reform despite several attempts and versions, and it is unclear how likely it was that tax-reform could be passed.

Springmeyer said "any improvement [in the tax code] would be a benefit for markets; we see more upside in the event it passes, and less downside in the event it doesn't."

Read more:Wilbur Ross says tax reform could boost economy by 1% (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/wilbur-ross-done-right-tax-reform-could-boost-economy-by-1-2017-09-26)

And see:GOP tax plan to allow for top individual rate above 35% (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/republican-tax-plan-to-allow-for-top-individual-rate-above-35-2017-09-26)

Which stocks are in focus?

Nike Inc.(NKE) fell 3.4% after the sneakers giant late Tuesday posted fiscal first-quarter earnings that beat forecasts, but its revenue was slightly below expectations (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/nike-shares-rise-as-company-beats-eps-expectations-2017-09-26). The stock was one of the biggest drags on the Dow.

Shares in Micron Technology Inc.(MU) rose 7.9% a day after the chip maker reported better-than-expected earnings (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/micron-tech-shares-rise-after-earnings-beat-2017-09-26).

J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (JPM) was ordered to pay (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/home-contract-signings-tumble-to-near-2-year-low-hit-by-hurricanes-and-tight-supply-2017-09-27) more than $4 billion in damages for mismanaging the estate of a former executive for American Airlines (AAL). Shares of the investment bank rose 1.4%.

Therapix Biosciences Ltd. (TRPX.TV) jumped 5.6% following positive preclinical results (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/therapix-biosciences-shares-surge-6-on-preclinical-results-for-cognitive-impairment-therapy-2017-09-27-8914114) for a potential cognitive-impairment therapy.

See:Micron reassures investors that memory-chip demand remains very high (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/micron-reassures-investors-that-memory-chip-demand-remains-very-high-2017-09-26)

What are other assets doing?

The ICE U.S. Dollar Index (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dollar-index-jumps-to-1-month-high-ahead-of-gop-tax-plan-2017-09-27) was gaining, building on Tuesday's rise (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dollar-jumps-to-1-month-high-vs-euro-ahead-of-yellen-speech-2017-09-26) (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/gold-at-fresh-lows-for-the-month-as-dollars-win-streak-expands-2017-09-27)

Gold futures (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/gold-at-fresh-lows-for-the-month-as-dollars-win-streak-expands-2017-09-27) lost ground, while oil futures (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-prices-in-holding-pattern-before-us-supply-report-2017-09-27) were little changed.

European stocks (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/european-stocks-jump-to-10-week-high-led-by-alstom-after-siemens-deal-2017-09-27) rose, and Asian markets closed mixed (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/asian-markets-unfazed-after-yellen-hints-at-rate-hikes-2017-09-26).

Don't miss:The stock sector that has been 2017's big loser became a big winner this month (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-stock-sector-that-has-been-2017s-big-loser-turned-into-a-big-winner-this-month-2017-09-27)

Read:Here's why value stocks are starting to outperform growth (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/heres-why-value-stocks-are-starting-to-outperform-growth-2017-09-26)

What are the data?

Orders for durable goods rose 1.7% in August, beating forecasts for a 1% rise (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/durable-goods-orders-jump-17-in-august-2017-09-27).

The National Association of Realtors' pending home sales index (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/home-contract-signings-tumble-to-near-2-year-low-hit-by-hurricanes-and-tight-supply-2017-09-27) fell 2.6% to 106.3, the group said Wednesday. That was the lowest reading since January 2016 and put the index 2.6% lower than its level a year ago.

Check out:MarketWatch's Economic Calendar (http://www.marketwatch.com/economy-politics/calendars/economic)

Which Fed speakers are on tap Wednesday?

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 27, 2017 12:20 ET (16:20 GMT)