Investors are digesting a barrage of earnings, economic data and Fed speeches
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U.S. stocks rose on Thursday, with the Dow industrials jumping nearly 200 points, paced by a post-earnings surge by Cisco and Wal-Mart as major indexes bounced back from a two-day selloff. The Nasdaq Composite traded at an all-time high.
The results overshadowed a barrage of earnings reports, economic data and Federal Reserve speeches, as well as ongoing questions about the state of Republican tax-cut efforts.
What are the main benchmarks doing?
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 205 points, or 0.9%, to 23,476. The S&P 500 rose 23 points, or 0.9%, to 2,588. The S&P 500 tech and consumer staples sectors were top gainers, advancing 1.4% and 1.7%, respectively.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index was up 95 points to 6,801.08, a gain of 1.4%, topping 6,800 for the first time.
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On Wednesday, the Dow and the S&P 500 both closed 0.6% lower (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dow-futures-tumble-more-than-100-points-as-mood-for-risk-sours-2017-11-15), and the Nasdaq Composite gave up 0.5%. The S&P and Dow suffered their biggest percentage drops since Sept. 5, with analysts blaming the fall on worries about a U.S. tax overhaul. In addition, a slide in oil prices on Wednesday put pressure on energy stocks.
Wednesday's decline marked the biggest one-day percentage drop for both the Dow and the S&P since September. It also marked the first time in 50 sessions that the S&P fell at least 0.5% in a single trading day, putting an end to its longest such streak since 1968, according to data from LPL Financial.
What are strategists saying?
U.S. stocks took a cue from a rebound by European equities, which broke their longest losing streak in a year, said Kristina Hooper, global markets strategist at Invesco, in a phone interview. That suggested investors were becoming more comfortable with the global growth picture after some previous unease, she said, and underscored that recent market action hasn't been dictated solely by concerns surrounding tax-cut legislation.
At the same time, stocks could be vulnerable to a downturn if tax legislation falters, she said, arguing that the administration's call for a cut in the corporate rate to 20% from 35% and allowing companies to immediately expense equipment purchases are key features.
"Traders are trying to figure out whether today's positive move is just a bounce back or the beginning of the next upward move. US equities have enjoyed a very bullish run lately, so a pullback would not be a surprise," said David Madden, market analyst at CMC Markets, in a note.
What are other assets doing?
Oil futures (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-prices-stabilize-after-prior-days-slump-showing-little-change-2017-11-16) were lower, after earlier showing a small gain. Crude prices are trying to stabilize after a fall on Wednesday (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-tumbles-further-in-wake-of-api-reading-showing-jump-in-us-supply-2017-11-15) that was attributed to a surprise climb in U.S. supplies.
The ICE U.S. Dollar Index (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dollar-drops-as-fears-build-that-tax-reform-plans-will-drag-2017-11-15) was inching up, while gold futures saw a small gain.
Which stocks were key movers?
Shares of Dow component Cisco Systems Inc.(CSCO) jumped 6.2% a day after the maker of networking equipment delivered better-than-expected quarterly results and an encouraging outlook (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/cisco-shares-surge-as-earnings-outlook-top-street-views-2017-11-15). The tech stock was the Dow's biggest gainer.
Don't miss:Cisco promises return to growth, but for how long? (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/cisco-promises-return-to-growth-but-for-how-long-2017-11-15)
Fellow Dow component Wal-Mart Stores Inc.(WMT) climbed more than 9% in the wake of the retailer posting stronger-than-expected earnings (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/wal-marts-stock-jumps-toward-record-high-after-profit-and-sales-beat-raised-outlook-2017-11-16) early Thursday. It was the Dow's second-biggest winner.
Read more:Wal-Mart's in-store and digital sales put it a step ahead (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/wal-mart-earnings-in-store-and-digital-sales-put-it-a-step-ahead-of-the-competition-2017-11-13)
The retail giant has been a strong performer throughout 2017, up more than 33%. That stands in contrast to retail overall, with the SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT) down more than 7% in 2017.
See:Here's how tied retail stocks are to Black Friday and holiday shopping (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/heres-how-tied-retail-stocks-are-to-black-friday-and-holiday-shopping-2017-11-16)
Also read: New ETF is a bet on the death of retail sales (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/new-etf-is-a-bet-on-the-death-of-retail-stores-2017-11-16)
NetApp Inc.(NTAP) soared 14.5% after the data-storage company's better-than-expected results (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/netapp-shares-jump-on-earnings-sales-beat-2017-11-15) late Wednesday.
L Brands Inc.(LB) fell 1% ahead of the bell after the Victoria's Secret parent posted earnings that matched forecasts and a drop in same-store sales (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/l-brands-shares-down-35-after-earnings-as-same-store-sales-fall-2017-11-15).
Retailer Best Buy Co.(BBY) fell 4% after it reported revenue that came in below analyst forecasts and gave a weak profit outlook (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/best-buy-shares-slide-after-revenue-miss-weak-earnings-outlook-2017-11-16).
Folgers and Pillsbury parent J.M. Smucker Co.(SJM) rose 9.8% after it reported earnings that came in above analyst forecasts (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/jm-smucker-shares-jump-23-premarket-as-earnings-top-estimates-2017-11-16).
Media giant Viacom Inc.(VIA) fell 3.3% after it reported its quarterly results (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/viacom-blows-past-estimates-sending-stock-up-12-premarket-2017-11-16).
Away from earnings-related moves, Procter & Gamble Co.'s stock (PG) rose 1.6% following news that storied activist investor Nelson Peltz had narrowly won a seat (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/activist-nelson-peltz-narrowly-wins-seat-on-pg-board-2017-11-15) on the consumer-products giant's board.
Auto maker Tesla Inc.'s stock (TSLA) gained 1.7% ahead of the unveiling of its electric semi truck (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/four-things-tesla-needs-to-reveal-when-it-launches-the-semi-truck-2017-11-15) that is on tap after the market's close.
See:Elon Musk opens up on love life, traumatic childhood, Tesla goals (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/elon-musk-opens-up-on-love-life-traumatic-childhood-tesla-goals-2017-11-15)
Goldman Sachs Group Inc.(GS) rose 1.3% and Morgan Stanley(MS) advanced 1% on the day. Earlier, there was news of a lawsuit that alleges those two banks and other lenders secretly shared client information (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/lawsuit-alleges-goldman-other-big-banks-shared-client-info-to-rig-us-treasurys-auctions-2017-11-16) to rig auctions for the U.S. Treasury market.
What economic releases could help drive markets?
Initial jobless claims rose a higher-than-expected 10,000 in the latest week (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-jobless-claims-jump-to-6-week-high-2017-11-16), hitting a six-week high, although they remain at historically low levels. Continuing jobless claims were at their lowest since Dec. 1973.
Separately, U.S. import prices rose 0.2% in October, while industrial production rose 0.9% in October (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/industrial-production-surges-in-october-tops-forecast-2017-11-16), above the 0.6% growth that had been expected.
The National Association of Home Builders said its monthly confidence gauge rose two points to 70 (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/home-builder-confidence-climbs-to-8-month-high-in-november-nahb-says-2017-11-16)in November.
Check out:MarketWatch's Economic Calendar (http://www.marketwatch.com/economy-politics/calendars/economic)
On the Fed front, Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester said that demographic change in the U.S. will result in a slower-growing and older population (http://www.marketwatch.com/(S(o54cffqhipqemynavg0qd455))/story/fed-must-pay-attention-to-trend-toward-older-population-mester-says-2017-11-16), and that the Federal Reserve must be alert to the impact of this transition on economic growth and interest rates.
Dallas Fed President Rob Kaplan was due to participate in a discussion at a CFA Society of Houston event at 1:10 p.m. Eastern, while Fed Gov. Lael Brainard is scheduled to talk at a University of Michigan Law School conference at 3:45 p.m. Eastern. San Francisco Fed President John Williams is addressing a forum on Asia in the City by the Bay at 4:45 p.m. Eastern.
Now read:CEO Bill McNabb reveals 'probably the thing we worry most about at Vanguard' (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/ceo-bill-mcnabb-reveals-probably-the-thing-we-worry-most-about-at-vanguard-2017-11-16)
(http://www.marketwatch.com/story/ceo-bill-mcnabb-reveals-probably-the-thing-we-worry-most-about-at-vanguard-2017-11-16)--Victor Reklaitis contributed to this article
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
November 16, 2017 13:57 ET (18:57 GMT)