Qualcomm's stock under pressure after EU fine tied to illegal payments to Apple
U.S. stock benchmarks on Wednesday traded in record territory as bank stocks led the way, extending a solid start to the year for Wall Street equities on the back of better-than-expected earnings.
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What are the main benchmarks doing?
Dow Jones Industrial Average gained nearly 170 points, or 0.6%, to 26,381, with shares of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) adding about 32 points to the blue-chip average's gain's. The S&P 500 index tacked on 13 points, or 0.5%, to 2,852, propelled in part by gains in the financials sector, up about 0.8%. The Nasdaq Composite Index, meanwhile, was trading up 23 points, or 0.3%, at 7,483.
All three equity benchmarks set fresh all-time intraday highs near the official start of trade.
On Tuesday, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq notched all-time closing highs again (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dow-futures-rally-100-points-as-investors-move-past-shutdown-worries-to-focus-on-earnings-2018-01-23), while the Dow edged back from its record close hit on Monday.
The three equity gauges are up between 6% and 8.1% so far in 2018, adding to last year's sizable gains as investors cheer the expanding U.S. economy and growth in corporate profits.
What are strategists saying?
"The S&P 500 really is up more than 6% so far this month and shows no sign of abatement," said Voya Investment Management strategists Doug Coté and Karyn Cavanaugh in a note.
"What could possibly go wrong? Well, one risk to the market could be global trade," they added, noting that President Trump late Monday approved tariffs (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/first-solar-shares-jump-8-after-white-house-oks-tariffs-on-solar-panel-imports-2018-01-22) on imports of solar panels and washing machines.
Which stocks look like key movers?
Shares in Qualcomm Inc.(QCOM)traded 0.3% lower after the chip company was hit with a $1.2 billion antitrust fine by the European Union (https://www.wsj.com/articles/eu-to-fine-qualcomm-over-exclusivity-payments-to-apple-1516783685?mod=mktw). The EU said Qualcomm made illegal payments to Apple Inc.(AAPL)for exclusively using its chips in iPhones and other products.
Conglomerates General Electric(GE) saw its stock slip 0.3% (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/ges-stock-turns-lower-after-disclosure-of-sec-probe-into-insurance-reserve-increase-2018-01-24) it said the Securities and Exchange Commission was probing the process that led to a sizable increase in its insurance reserves (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/ge-shocks-market-with-multibillion-dollar-loss-in-legacy-reinsurance-business-2018-01-16) last week. The industrial conglomerate also reported weaker-than-expected quarterly results (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/ges-stock-surges-despite-surprise-loss-and-revenue-miss-as-power-and-oil-gas-revenue-beats-2018-01-24) but offered a rosier revenue projection for its power and oil-and-gas business.
Comcast Corp.'s stock (CMCSA)was trading flat after reporting earnings boosted by its broadband business and after announcing plans to repurchase $5 billion in stock in 2018.
Puma Biotechnology Inc.'s shares (PBYI) slumped by 29% after its price target was lowered, notably by J.P. Morgan Chase, as the company said a European Medicines Agency committee completed a negative vote for its breast cancer therapy neratinib (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/puma-biotech-shares-plummet-after-concerning-turn-in-europe-2018-01-24).
Shares of United Technologies Corp.(UTX) rose modestly, up 0.3%, after its fourth-quarter results, which revealed charges stemming from the new tax law (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/united-technologies-profit-dented-by-tax-charge-2018-01-24).
Texas Instruments Inc.(TXN)appeared on track to decline 5.2% after the chip company delivered in-line results and a modest outlook (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/texas-instruments-shares-fall-on-in-line-results-modest-outlook-2018-01-23) late Tuesday.
United Continental Holdings Inc.(UAL)fell 10.2% after the airline posted earnings (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/united-stock-rises-after-fourth-quarter-earnings-beat-2018-01-23) late Tuesday.
Ford Motor Co.(F)results are due to report after the close of trade. Shares were up about 0.3%.
What are other assets doing?
The ICE U.S. Dollar Index was trading at a fresh three-year low as U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said a weaker greenback is good for trade (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dollar-plunges-to-3-year-low-after-mnuchin-cheers-weaker-greenback-2018-01-24) while speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. European and Asian stocks have been a mixed bag.
Gold futures were jumping by more 1.2%, while oil futures (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/natural-gas-soars-with-the-leap-setting-off-a-trading-halt-2018-01-24)were slightly higher, up 0.1%.
What economic data could help drive markets?
U.S. IHS Markit flash services PMI fell to 53.3 in January, while those for manufacturing rose to 55.5 in January. A reading of at 50 or better indicates improving conditions.
Meanwhile, existing home sales for December showed sales up 5.57 million, down 3.6%, according to Realtor group.
Check out:MarketWatch's Economic Calendar (http://www.marketwatch.com/economy-politics/calendars/economic)
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
January 24, 2018 10:16 ET (15:16 GMT)