Wall St. to open higher as Trump rally reignites

Traders working in New York Stock Exchange

By Yashaswini Swamynathan

(Reuters) – U.S. stocks looked set for a higher open on Wednesday, with the Dow set to take a shot at 20,000, following a raft of strong quarterly earnings and optimism around President Donald Trump’s pro-growth policies.

The Trump rally, which had driven Wall Street to a series of record highs since November, had been sputtering in recent weeks as investors sought clarity on his growth initiatives.

The S&P 500 <.SPX> and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> closed at record levels on Tuesday as the post-election rally roared back to life after Trump signed executive orders to move forward with the construction of two oil pipelines.

He also pushed chief executives of the Big Three U.S. automakers to create jobs by building more plants in the United States. Shares of Ford <F.N>, General Motors <GM.N> and Fiat Chrysler <FCAU.N> rose in premarket trading.

“You are seeing futures continue from yesterday’s euphoria as more money gets put to work,” said Drew Forman, co-head of sales and trading equity at Macro Risk Advisors in New York.

The dollar dropped to a near seven-week low on Wednesday of 99.84 as concerns about Trump’s protectionism stance on trade lingered.

Dow e-minis <1YMc1> were up 77 points, or 0.39 percent at 8:19 a.m. ET (1319 GMT), with 24,697 contracts changing hands.

S&P 500 e-minis <ESc1> were up 8.25 points, or 0.36 percent, with 118,032 contracts traded. The index hit a record high earlier in the day.

Nasdaq 100 e-minis <NQc1> were up 24.75 points, or 0.49 percent, on volume of 24,262 contracts.

A largely positive fourth-quarter earnings season also boosted investor confidence. Of the 79 S&P 500 companies that have reported earnings so far, nearly 70 percent have beaten expectations, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Gains in Boeing <BA.N> could provide the Dow <.DJI> an impetus to breach the 20,000, after coming within 90 points of the milestone a day earlier.

Boeing’s stock was up 1.11 percent premarket after the company said it expected to deliver more commercial aircrafts this year than in 2016.

Seagate <STX.O> shares surged 12.8 percent to $42.30 after the hard-disk drive maker forecast current-quarter revenue above estimates, buoyed by strong demand for its cloud-based storage products.

Aluminum producer Alcoa <AA.N> rose 2.03 percent to $38.26 after reporting a better-than-expected first quarter revenue.

AT&T <T.N> and Qualcomm <QCOM.O> are scheduled to report results after market close.

No key economic data is expected on Wednesday. Federal Reserve officials are in a self-imposed blackout period ahead of a policy-setting meeting next week.

(Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)

S&P 500, Nasdaq hit record highs on bank, tech gains

traders working on floor of NYSE

By Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The S&P 500 and Nasdaq touched intraday record highs on Tuesday and the Dow was poised for its best day of the year, lifted by gains in financial and technology stocks.

The advance comes as investors assess quarterly earnings reports, while trying to find more clarity on President Donald Trump’s economic policies.

Trump signed two executive orders on Tuesday to move forward with construction of the controversial Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines, rolling back key Obama administration environmental actions in favor of expanding energy infrastructure. He also met with chief executives of the Big Three U.S. automakers to push for more cars to be built in the United States.

“He is demonstrating that he is extremely business friendly, and I thought he had a good day today,” said Stephen Massocca, Chief Investment Officer, Wedbush Equity Management LLC in San Francisco.

“The protectionist stuff will spook the market, the rest of it is spot-on.”

Profits of S&P 500 companies are estimated to have risen 6.7 percent in the latest quarter, marking the strongest growth in two years, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Despite stalling in recent weeks, the post-election rally has contributed to somewhat lofty valuations. The S&P 500 is trading at about 17 times forward 12-month earnings, according to Thomson Reuters Datastream, compared with the 10-year median of 14.2.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 133.5 points, or 0.67 percent, to 19,933.35, the S&P 500 gained 16.27 points, or 0.72 percent, to 2,281.47 and the Nasdaq Composite added 46.03 points, or 0.83 percent, to 5,598.98.

GM shares were up 1.5 percent and Ford rose 2.3 percent, while Fiat Chrysler jumped 6.7 percent. The S&P financial sector climbed 1.5 percent. The index had surged more than 16 percent in the wake of the election to the end of 2016 but has struggled in the new year, losing more than 1 percent through Monday.

Materials jumped nearly 3 percent and were on track for their best day since February. The sector was bolstered by a 5 percent rise in DuPont, which reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit.

IBM, up 2.9 percent, and Intel, up 2.6 percent, were among the top boosts to the S&P 500 and helped lift the tech sector by 1.1 percent to put the sector on track for its best day this year.

Yahoo rose 3.3 percent after the company reported better-than-expected quarterly profit and revenue and said the sale of its core internet business to Verizon should be completed in the second quarter.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 2.95-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 2.47-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 42 new 52-week highs and two new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 107 new highs and 28 new lows.

(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by James Dalgleish)

Banks, oil stocks weigh on Wall St., keep Dow from 20,000

Wall Street

By Yashaswini Swamynathan

(Reuters) – The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined on Monday, retreating from the historic 20,000 mark, weighed down by banks and energy companies, while a gain in technology stocks kept the Nasdaq afloat.

Of its 30 components, 20 of the Dow’s stocks were trading lower, led by Goldman Sachs’s <GS.N> 1.4 percent decline. P&G <PG.N> fell 0.9 percent and Coca-Cola <KO.N> dropped 0.5 percent after Goldman downgraded both the consumer staple stocks.

Eight of the 11 major S&P sectors were lower, led by the energy sector’s <.SPNY> 1.3 percent drop. Oil prices fell 2.3 percent as signs of growing U.S. output outweighed optimism that other producers were sticking to a deal to cut supply to bolster prices. [O/R]

The decline meant the Dow moved further away from the 20,000-point mark. It came tantalizingly close on Friday, hitting a record of 19,999.63 as the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq also touched records after a late pop in technology stocks.

The sector again helped the market on Monday.

At 9:41 a.m. ET the Dow <.DJI> was down 57 points, or 0.29 percent, at 19,906.8.

The S&P 500 <.SPX> was down 4.91 points, or 0.22 percent, at 2,272.07.

The Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> was up 7.83 points, or 0.14 percent, at 5,528.89.

“The market is building drama around 20,000 and if and when we get promising earnings reports, the Dow will go through the point like a hot knife through butter,” said Andre Bakhos, managing director at Janlyn Capital in Bernardsville, New Jersey.

Wall Street’s rally since Donald Trump won the U.S. election in November, with investors betting he will introduce business-friendly policies, has led to lofty valuations.

The S&P is trading at about 17 times expected earnings, compared to its 10-year average of 14. That could make investors cautious as they gear up for the fourth-quarter earnings season.

The first peek into how companies fared last quarter will be provided later this week by big U.S. banks. S&P 500 companies overall are expected to post a 6.1 percent increase in profit in the quarter, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Among stocks, Dow component UnitedHealth <UNH.N> lost 0.6 percent to $161.42 after the insurer’s Optum unit said it would buy Surgical Care Affiliates Inc <SCAI.O> for about $2.30 billion. Surgical Care’s stock was up 15 percent.

VCA Inc <WOOF.O>, which runs hospitals for animals, soared 28 percent to $90.78 after Mars Inc said it would buy the company for $7.7 billion.

Acuity Brands <AYI.N> was the biggest percentage loser on the S&P, falling 16 percent to $199.16 after the lighting solutions provider reported first quarter sales that missed analysts’ expectations.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1,741 to 915. On the Nasdaq, 1,469 issues fell and 942 advanced.

The S&P 500 index showed three new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 27 new highs and seven new lows.

(Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D’Souza)

Wall St. set to end 2016 with a whimper

A trader wears glasses that say "2017" ahead of the new year on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., December 30, 2016.

By Yashaswini Swamynathan

(Reuters) – U.S. stocks fell on the last trading day of 2016, eating into gains for the year, as Apple led a decline in technology stocks.

The S&amp;P 500 technology sector’s 0.72 percent drop put the broader index on track for its third straight day of declines, its longest losing streak since Nov. 4.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was set for its weekly decline since the U.S. election. The rally had pushed the index to within 13 points of 20,000 last week, but after three straight days of losses, the index is now about 200 points shy.

“The market is ending 2016 with a whimper. We entered the rally like a lion, but are leaving like a lamb,” said Andre Bakhos, managing director of Janlyn Capital in Bernardsville, New Jersey.

“It is disappointing on many levels as investors believed that we are going to see the Dow at 20,000. The euphoria that was in motion in the Trump rally has fizzled.”

Until Thursday, the three main Wall Street indexes were set to end the year with double-digit percentage gains. The S&P is now on track to post a gain of 9.7 percent for the year, the Nasdaq 7.8 percent and the Dow 13.7 percent.

At 12:35 p.m. ET (1735 GMT) the Dow was down 20.2 points, or 0.1 percent, at 19,799.58, the S&P 500 was down 5.87 points, or 0.26 percent, at 2,243.39 and the Nasdaq Composite  was down 38.38 points, or 0.71 percent, at 5,393.71.

Seven of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors were lower, with technology and consumer discretionary stocks taking the biggest hit.

Apple was the biggest drag on all three indexes, falling 0.6 percent to $115.98 after the Nikkei financial daily reported that the company would cut production of the iPhone by about 10 percent.

Apple suppliers also dropped on the news. Qualcomm, Skyworks Solutions, Cirrus Logic and Qorvo were down between 1 percent and 2 percent.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1,444 to 1,402. On the Nasdaq, 1,795 issues fell and 1,004 advanced.

The S&P 500 index showed one new 52-week high and no new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 35 new highs and 36 new lows.

(Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva and Savio D’Souza)

Dow closing in on 20,000; Nasdaq hits record high

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S.,

By Tanya Agrawal

(Reuters) – The Dow and the Nasdaq hit record highs on Tuesday, with the blue-chip index just 13 points shy of the 20,000 mark, a level it has never scaled.

Goldman Sachs, which was up about 1 percent, gave the biggest boost to the Dow.

U.S. stocks have been on a tear since the Nov. 8 presidential election, with the Dow up 9 percent and S&P more than 6 percent on bets that President-elect Donald Trump’s plans for deregulation and infrastructure spending will boost the economy.

“It’s just the momentum since the election,” said Jeff Zipper, managing director for investments at Private Client Reserve at U.S. Bank in Palm Beach, Florida.

“The market is focused on the Trump agenda, which is tax cuts, infrastructure spending and deregulation. There’s not a lot of selling going on.”

However, trading volumes were muted as the last full trading week before the holiday season gets underway where movements may be pronounced.

There are also concerns that the post-election rally may have gone too far too soon.

“I think we’re a little bit concerned that market trends may be extended a little bit and market prices need to convert to fair value, and it’s not unusual to see a pullback after such a move,” said Zipper.

The S&P 500 is trading at 17.9 times forward 12-month earnings, above the 10-year median of 14.7 times, according to StarMine data.

At 11:08 a.m. ET (1608 GMT) the Dow Jones industrial average was up 83.92 points, or 0.42 percent, at 19,966.98.

The S&P 500 was up 8.69 points, or 0.38 percent, at 2,271.22. The index came within 5 points of its record high.

The Nasdaq Composite was up 25.67 points, or 0.47 percent, at 5,483.11.

Eight of the 11 major S&amp;P sectors were higher, with the telecommunications index’s 0.99 percent rise leading the gainers.

The financial index was also up 0.93 percent. The index has risen 18.5 percent since the election, buoyed by Trump’s deregulation plans and the prospect of higher interest rates.

Brent oil prices rose by $1 to a one-week high on forecasts of a steep draw in U.S. crude stocks that could indicate global oversupply is starting to shrink.

The dollar climbed to a 14-year high after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s comments about the labor market reinforced the notion of a faster pace of U.S. interest rate hikes next year than had been expected.

General Mills  fell 3.3 percent to $61.00 after the Cheerios cereal-maker’s quarterly results missed expectations.

Nvidia &lt;NVDA.O&gt; was up 3.9 percent at $105.59 after brokerages Goldman Sachs and Mizuho raised their price targets on the chipmaker’s stock. The stock was among the big Nasdaq boosters.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,914 to 901. On the Nasdaq, 1,819 issues rose and 858 fell.

The S&amp;P 500 index showed 29 new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 164 new highs and 20 new lows.

(Reporting by Tanya Agrawal in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

Dow set to open at record high; oil hits $55

Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange

By Yashaswini Swamynathan

(Reuters) – The Dow was poised to open at an all-time high on Monday, as oil prices topped $55 a barrel for the first time in 16 months, and investors shrugged off the defeat of a referendum in Italy for constitutional reforms.

Futures lost ground slightly on Sunday after Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said he would resign following the rejection.

However, world stocks, including Italian shares, reversed course to trade higher on Monday as investors bet against immediate snap elections in the country.

Brent crude prices were up 0.8 percent, after touching a high of $55.33, taking the total gains to 19 percent since Wednesday, when OPEC and other producers struck a deal to limit output to prop up prices. [O/R]

The Dow will open at a record intraday high, its eighth since Nov. 10, if active trading follows movement in futures. The index has marked four straight weeks of gains, benefiting from investors’ rotation into sectors such as financials, which are likely to gain from President-elect Donald Trump’s policies.

“You’ve got a very split tape with some sectors working well, like the financials and transports, while the rest of the market is not working well,” said Adam Sarhan, chief executive at Orlando, Florida-based 50 Park Investments.

However, Wall Street closed little changed on Friday as investors booked profits off bank stocks, despite a strong payrolls report that strengthened the prospects of an interest rate hike next week.

Dow e-minis <1YMc1> were up 73 points, or 0.38 percent, at 8:28 a.m. ET (130 GMT), with 57,797 contracts changing hands on Monday.

S&P 500 e-minis <ESc1> were up 6.5 points, or 0.3 percent, with 249,606 contracts traded.

Nasdaq 100 e-minis <NQc1> were up 17.5 points, or 0.37 percent, on volume of 39,369 contracts.

An Institute of Supply Management report is likely to show activity in the U.S. services sector rose slightly in November from the previous month. The report is due at 10:00 a.m. ET (1500 GMT)

New York Federal Reserve President and permanent voting member William Dudley said Trump’s election had created “considerable” uncertainty on the policies he would pursue so it was too soon for the Fed to judge whether its plan for gradual interest rate hikes needs adjusting.

Shares of Energy Transfer <ETP.N> dropped 6.9 percent to $32 after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers turned down a permit for the company’s controversial pipeline project running through North Dakota.

FairPoint <FRP.O> shares jumped 14.4 percent after Consolidated Communications <CNSL.O> said it would buy the broadband service provider in an all-stock deal valued at $1.5 billion, including debt.

Chesapeake Energy <CHK.N> rose 4.2 percent to $7.53 after the U.S. natural gas producer said it would sell a part of its acreage in the Haynesville Shale area for $450 million to a private company.

(Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

S&P 500, Dow hit record highs on Black Friday

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)

(Reuters) – The S&P 500 and the Dow opened at record intraday highs on Friday, helped by gains in healthcare and consumer staple stocks at the start of the crucial holiday shopping season.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 47.01 points, or 0.25 percent, at 19,130.19. It hit a record of 19,138.51.

The S&P 500 was up 3.15 points, or 0.14 percent, at 2,207.87. It hit a record of 2,208.74.

The Nasdaq Composite was up 3.97 points, or 0.07 percent, at 5,384.64.

(Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D’Souza)

Wall St. at record highs, Dow tops 19,000 for first time

raders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, NY,

By Yashaswini Swamynathan

(Reuters) – The three main U.S. stock indexes hit records highs for the second straight day on Tuesday, with the Dow topping 19,000 points and the S&P 500 moving past 2,200 points for the first time ever as the Donald Trump-fueled rally continued.

The small cap Russell 2000. RUT index hit an intraday high for the fourth day in a row. The index, along with the Dow, Nasdaq and S&P, closed at record highs on Monday, the first such instance since December 1999.

Trump’s pro-growth policies, including promises of tax cuts, higher spending on infrastructure and simpler regulations in the banking and healthcare industries, have led a rally, especially in those sectors, since the election on Nov. 8.

The consumer discretionary sector’s 0.74 percent increase on Tuesday led the gainers among the 11 major S&P sectors, boosted by strong quarterly reports from Dollar Tree and Signet Jewelers.

The healthcare sector was the only laggard, dropping 0.74 percent, weighed down by Medtronic.

The Dow took 121 days, or about five months, to move to 18,000 points from 17,000 points, but has since crawled along. The index took another 483 days, or roughly two years to breach 19,000 points.

“In itself the numbers don’t mean much, but from a psychological or milestone standpoint it’s a good achievement for the market,” Adam Sarhan, chief executive of 50 Park Investments, said of the record-high levels of the indexes.

“Strength begets strength. The more we can continue to rally, the more people who are on the sidelines want to jump in especially because there’s so much cash on the sidelines. The market going up is the single best advertisement for the market.”

At 10:07 a.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 45.47 points, or 0.24 percent, at 19,002.16, easing after hitting an all-time high of 19,014.73.

The S&P 500 SPX was up 4.2 points, or 0.19 percent, at 2,202.38. It hit a high of 2,203.56.

The Nasdaq Composite was up 19.69 points, or 0.37 percent, at 5,388.55, after touching a high of 5,392.26.

Dollar Tree surged 9.5 percent to $89.91 after the biggest U.S. dollar-store chain reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit.

Signet was up 7.5 percent at $95.49 after the jeweler reported a much better-than-expected quarterly profit and raised its profit forecast.

Medtronic tumbled 7.5 percent to $74.5 after the medical device maker reported quarterly revenue that missed expectations and cut its full-year adjusted earnings forecast.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 2,019 to 740. On the Nasdaq, 1,554 issues rose and 930 fell.

The S&P 500 index showed 44 new 52-week highs and four new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 160 new highs and eight new lows.

(Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan and Tanya Agrawal in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva and Savio D’Souza)

Wall Street rose Monday while investors brace themselves

Traders work on the floor of the NYSE

(Reuters) – Wall Street rose on Monday, with the Dow touching highs not seen since July, as Hasbro and Disney lifted the consumer discretionary sector while investors braced for a flurry of quarterly earnings reports through the week.

Chevron climbed 1.25 percent as crude prices steadied from earlier losses caused by the collapse of talks among major producers to tackle a stubborn global surplus.

A recent rebound in oil and signs that the U.S. economy was recovering have helped stocks rally from a steep selloff earlier this year that had pushed the S&amp;P 500 down as much as 10.5 percent.

The index is now up 2.3 percent in 2016 and only about 2 percent short of its all-time high, while the Dow breached 18,000 for the first time since July 21.

That came despite bleak expectations for first-quarter earnings reports, many of which flow in this week. Earnings of S&amp;P 500 companies are seen falling 7.7 percent on average, with the energy sector weighing heavily, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Investors will closely watch IBM and Netflix as they hand in their reports after the bell. Netflix was down 3.2 percent.

“This is a market where beating and exceeding does not guarantee you a higher stock price, but missing guarantees you’re going to get killed on the downside,” said Jake Dollarhide, chief executive officer of Longbow Asset Management in Tulsa. “That’s the sign of a fragile market.”

At 2:31 pm, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 0.49 percent at 17,985.53 points and the S&amp;P 500 had gained 0.52 percent to 2,091.54. The Nasdaq Composite added 0.34 percent to 4,955.09.

All of the 10 major S&amp;P sectors were higher, led by a 1.2 percent rise in energy. The consumer discretionary sector was up 0.84 percent, led by Hasbro. The toymaker jumped 5.7 percent after reporting better-than-expected quarterly profit and revenue.

Disney rose 2.7 percent after “Jungle Book” dominated the weekend box office, grossing more than $100 million.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 2,066 to 913. On the Nasdaq, 1,925 issues rose and 888 fell.

The S&amp;P 500 index showed 19 new 52-week highs and one new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 52 new highs and 16 lows.

(Additional reporting by Abhiram Nandakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Nick Zieminski)

CNNMoney: Trading was halted 1,200 times Monday

The selling on Wall Street was so dramatic Monday that it triggered unprecedented emergency freezes on stocks.

Stocks and exchange-traded funds were automatically halted more than 1,200 times, according to Nasdaq.

The high level of trading pauses highlights just how extreme the selloff was in a short span of time. Fears about China’s economic slowdown caused the Dow to plummet over 1,000 points when the market opened. The Dow ended down 588 points, its worst decline since August 2011.

CNNMoney – CNNMoney: Trading was halted 1,200 times Monday