Analyst: 'Equities seem to be appreciating the uneventful State of the Union address from President Trump last night'
U.S. stock benchmarks opened firmly higher on Wednesday, putting the Dow on track to recover some of its roughly 540 points lost over the past two days.
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Strategists said President Donald Trump's relatively subdued, and less inflammatory, State of the Union address could be helping the investing mood, as traders brace for a Federal Reserve statement, more earnings reports and a raft of economic data.
What are the main benchmarks doing?
Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 254 points, or 1%, to 26,329, while S&P 500 index added 16 points, or 0.6%, to 2,837. The Nasdaq Composite Index tacked on 48 points, or 0.7%, to 7,450.
On Tuesday, the Dow suffered its biggest one-day drop in eight months (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dow-futures-slide-150-points-signaling-another-painful-session-2018-01-30), falling by about 363 points, or 1.4%. The S&P 500 gave up 1.1%, and the Nasdaq Composite lost 0.9%.
What's helping to drive markets?
The three main stock gauges have slumped this week, with analysts saying rising bond yields have helped peel money away from equities. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note was down slightly at 2.704% Wednesday, after touching a three-year high on Tuesday (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/long-dated-treasury-yields-resume-rise-but-short-dated-bond-yields-trade-lower-2018-01-30).
Stocks also were simply due for a pullback after a strong start to the year, according to many analysts. The Dow remains up by 5.5% in 2018 even after this week's selloff, helped by factors such as an expanding U.S. economy, growth in corporate profits, and enthusiasm over recently enacted tax cuts and other business-friendly policies.
Accommodative monetary policy has continued to help the stock market as well, but a relatively hawkish statement from the Fed (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/fed-to-take-a-step-toward-a-march-interest-rate-hike-2018-01-26) is due for release at 2 p.m. Eastern Time. A hike in interest rates isn't expected from the central bank's two-day policy-setting meeting, which ends today. The January meeting is Fed chief Janet Yellen's last as she hands the reins to Jerome Powell.
On the data front, ADP's January report showed that 234,000 private-sector jobs were added. The report comes ahead of the more closely watched nonfarm-payrolls report on Friday. However, the ADP report hasn't always aligned with the Friday jobs figure.
A release on business conditions in the Chicago area is expected at 9:45 a.m. Eastern, and a December report on pending home sales is on tap for 10 a.m. Eastern.
What are strategists saying?
"Equities seem to be appreciating the uneventful State of the Union address from President Trump last night," said Konstantinos Anthis, an ADS Securities analyst, in a note.
"We believe that stock traders will be relieved that Trump toned down his remarks on U.S. trade relations and instead focused on the domestic agenda, but it might not be enough to divert attention back to stocks as long as bonds give a better payout at this time."
Read more:Trump praises economy, calls for infrastructure, immigration deals (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/trump-takes-more-optimistic-tone-in-state-of-the-union-2018-01-30)
Check out:MarketWatch's Economic Calendar (http://www.marketwatch.com/economy-politics/calendars/economic)
Which stocks look like key movers?
Shares in Advanced Micro Devices Inc.(AMD) traded 2.3% higher after the chip maker posted better-than-expected quarterly earnings (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/amd-earnings-outlook-top-street-estimates-but-shares-shaky-after-hours-anyway-2018-01-30) late Tuesday.
Check out:AMD earnings cap a stunning 2017, but there is still plenty to do (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/amd-earnings-cap-a-stunning-2017-but-there-is-still-plenty-to-do-2018-01-30)
Shares in Electronic Arts Inc.(EA) were surging more than 7.8% after the videogame producer posted better-than-expected quarterly revenue (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/ea-stock-surges-in-late-trading-after-revenue-beat-2018-01-30) late Tuesday.
Xerox Corp.'s stock (XRX) was 2.5% higher in thin premarket action after the maker of copy machines said its quarterly net loss shrank (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/xerox-net-loss-shrinks-as-it-takes-us-tax-charge-2018-01-31). Xerox's stock also was getting a lift from news that Japan's Fujifilm Holdings Corp. (4901.TO) has taken a majority stake in the company.
Shares of Boeing Co. (BA) rallied 5.7% in premarket trade Wednesday, after the aerospace and defense contractor reported fourth-quarter profit and revenue that beat expectations, and provided an upbeat outlook (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/boeings-stock-jumps-after-profit-beat-by-wide-margin-upbeat-outlook-2018-01-31).
Drug giant Eli Lilly & Co.'s (LLY) stock slipped 0.9% early Wednesday after the company reported fourth-quarter profit and revenue beats and an upbeat outlook (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/eli-lilly-shares-rise-after-q4-profit-revenue-beats-upbeat-outlook-2018-01-31).
D.R. Horton Inc.'s stock (DHI) advanced by 5.4% in as the home builder reported double-digit increases in revenue and orders, and upped its guidance for the year (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dr-horton-shares-jump-on-strong-results-better-guidance-2018-01-31).
Anthem Inc.(ANTM)medical plans dropped by 13,000 in its latest quarter but increased slightly overall last year, the health insurer said Wednesday. The company beat analysts' estimates (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/anthem-medical-plans-fall-by-13000-in-q4-2018-01-31)in its fourth quarter, posting revenue of $22.4 billion, up 4.5% from a year ago and more than the $22.2 billion analysts expected. Its shares were climbing 7.2%.
What are other assets doing?
European stocks traded mostly higher, while Asian markets finished mixed. Gold was gaining, but oil futures were lower (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-prices-stumble-ahead-of-us-inventory-data-2018-01-31). The ICE U.S. Dollar Index was adding to its recent drop.
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
January 31, 2018 09:38 ET (14:38 GMT)