Investors are digesting a barrage of earnings, economic data and Fed speeches
U.S. stocks rose on Thursday, putting major indexes on track to recover from their biggest one-day drop in months, paced by earnings-driven gains for Cisco and Wal-Mart.
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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 166 points, or 0.7%, to 23,437. The S&P 500 rose 16 points, or 0.6%, to 2,581. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 64 points to 6,770, a gain of 1%.
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?
"Markets stand at an intriguing crossroads," said Richard Perry, a Hantec Markets analyst, in a note.
"Asian markets (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/tencent-earnings-buoy-hong-kong-index-nikkei-looks-to-snap-loss-streak-2017-11-15) have bounced (helped by support coming in for oil), with the Nikkei 1.5% higher. European markets (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/european-stocks-rebound-after-longest-losing-streak-in-a-year-2017-11-16) have taken heart from the Asian session and have also found support in early moves. It will be interesting to see if this lasts," Perry said.
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 mixed, 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 were roughly unchanged.
Which stocks were key movers?
Shares in Cisco Systems Inc.(CSCO) jumped 6.1% 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)
Wal-Mart Stores Inc.(WMT) climbed more than 8% 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.
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 9.5% in 2017.
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)
NetApp Inc.(NTAP) soared 15.5% 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 1.4% 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 7% 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 7.3% 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 4.5% 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 1.1% 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 0.8% 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) and Morgan Stanley(MS) both rose about 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 is taking part 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)
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
November 16, 2017 10:30 ET (15:30 GMT)