Stock Market Update

Updated: 18-Jan-18

08:35 ET Market is Closed
[BRIEFING.COM] S&P futures vs fair value: flat. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -12.50.

The S&P 500 futures trade in line with fair value.

Just in, Housing starts decreased to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 1.192 million units in December ( consensus 1.280 million), down from a revised 1.299 million units in November (from 1.297 million). Building permits decreased to a seasonally adjusted 1.302 million in December ( consensus 1.290 million) from a revised 1.303 million in November (from 1.298 million).

Separately, the latest weekly initial jobless claims count totaled 220,000, while the consensus expected a reading of 251,000. Today's tally was below the unrevised prior week count of 261,000. As for continuing claims, they rose to 1.952 million from a revised count of 1.876 million (from 1.867 million).

The Philadelphia Fed Survey for January decreased to 22.2 from a revised 27.9 in December (from 26.2) while economists polled by expected a reading of 24.5.

07:58 ET Market is Closed
[BRIEFING.COM] S&P futures vs fair value: +1.00. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -7.80.

Wall Street rocketed to new records on Wednesday, quieting those who believed the new year rally was on the ropes following Tuesday's failed attempt to go higher. Investors have been more reserved this morning, however, with equity futures pointing to a flat open. The S&P 500 futures trade one point above fair value.

Morgan Stanley (MS) reported better-than-expected fourth quarter earnings this morning, joining a group of financial peers that also beat quarterly profit estimates, including JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Wells Fargo (WFC), Citigroup (C), Bank of America (BAC), Goldman Sachs (GS), U.S. Bancorp (USB), and Charles Schwab (SCHW). MS shares are up $0.90, or 1.6%, in pre-market action, trading at $56.25 per share.

Dow components American Express (AXP) and IBM (IBM) will report fourth quarter results following today's closing bell.

In the bond market, U.S. Treasuries are under pressure this morning, extending losses for the week. The yield on the benchmark 10-yr Treasury note is up three basis points at 2.60%--its best level since March 2017. The 10-yr yield challenged that level last week, but pulled back after failing to break through. It will be a key level to watch as skeptics have cited relatively low long-term rates as a sign that the U.S. economy is not as healthy as it may appear.

Meanwhile, West Texas Intermediate crude futures are up 0.2% at $64.07 per barrel. The American Petroleum Institute reported on Wednesday evening that U.S. crude inventories declined by 5.1 million barrels last week. The official weekly government report will be released at 11:00 AM ET.

Investors will receive several economic reports today, including Housing Starts for December ( consensus 1280K), Building Permits for December ( consensus 1290K), weekly Initial Claims ( consensus 251K), and the Philadelphia Fed Index for January ( consensus 24.5). All data will be released at 8:30 AM ET.

Elsewhere, equity indices in the Asia-Pacific region ended Thursday on a mostly higher note, but Japan's Nikkei slipped 0.4%. The Euro Stoxx 50 is up 0.1%.

In U.S. corporate news:

  • Wal-Mart (WMT 104.25, +1.55): +1.5% after Goldman added the company to its 'Conviction Buy List.'
  • Morgan Stanley (MS 56.26, +0.90): +1.6% after reporting better-than-expected earnings and revenues.

Reviewing overnight developments:

  • Equity indices in the Asia-Pacific region ended Thursday on a mostly higher note. Japan's Nikkei -0.4%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng +0.4%, China's Shanghai Composite +0.9%, India's Sensex +0.5%.
    • In economic data:
      • China's Q4 GDP +1.6% quarter-over-quarter, as expected (last 1.7%); +6.8% year-over-year (consensus 6.7%; last 6.8%). December Fixed Asset Investment +7.2% year-over-year (consensus 7.1%; last 7.2%), December Industrial Production +6.2% year-over-year (expected 6.0%; last 6.1%), and December Retail Sales +9.4% year-over-year (expected 10.1%; last 10.2%). December House Prices +5.3% year-over-year (last 5.1%)
      • Japan's November Industrial Production +0.5% month-over-month (expected 0.6%; last 0.6%)
      • Australia's December Employment Change 34,700 (expected 9,000; last 63,600), December Unemployment Rate 5.5% (expected 5.4%; last 5.4%), and December Participation Rate 65.7% (expected 65.4%; last 65.5%). MI Inflation Expectations remained at 3.7%
      • Hong Kong's Unemployment Rate 2.9% (last 3.0%)
    • In news:
      • Chinese equities displayed relative strength after the release of economic data that was mostly better than expected, though December Retail Sales fell short of estimates.
      • Reports from Japanese financial press noted that some Bank of Japan members see the need to discuss future normalization plans, but current stimulus measures are still needed at this time.
      • The Bank of Korea left its base rate at 1.50%, as expected.
  • Major European indices trade in mixed fashion. UK's FTSE -0.3%, France's CAC +0.2%, Germany's DAX +0.4%.
    • In economic data:
      • Investors did not receive any economic data of note
    • In news:
      • The UK House of Commons approved the Brexit bill, which will now head to the House of Lords.
      • Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann said that the increase in Germany's trade surplus results from ultra-loose monetary policy at the ECB. Mr. Weidmann made the comments in response to remarks from IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, who criticized German households and firms for saving too much.
05:51 ET Market is Closed
[BRIEFING.COM] S&P futures vs fair value: -0.30. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -8.30.
05:51 ET Market is Closed
[BRIEFING.COM] Nikkei...32122...+138.50...+0.40%.  Hang Seng...23763...-105.00...-0.40%.
05:51 ET Market is Closed
[BRIEFING.COM] FTSE...7697.01...-28.60...-0.40%.  DAX...13239.21...+55.30...+0.40%.
16:30 ET Dow +322.79 at 26115.65, Nasdaq +74.59 at 7298.27, S&P +26.14 at 2802.56

[BRIEFING.COM] Stocks rallied to new records on Wednesday with technology shares leading the charge.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 1.3% to 26115.65, the Nasdaq Composite rose 1.0% to 7298.28, the S&P 500 climbed 0.9% to 2802.56, and the Russell 2000 advanced 0.9% to 1586.66. The Dow, the Nasdaq, and the S&P 500 finished at new record highs, but the Russell 2000 failed to recoup all of its Tuesday decline.

Wednesday's rally was a powerful statement from the bulls, who appeared to be out of gas on Tuesday following a resilient start to the year. Clearly, that wasn't the case. The S&P 500 has advanced in 9 of 11 sessions in 2018, adding 4.8%. The Nasdaq and the Dow have done even better, climbing 5.7% apiece.

Each of the S&P 500's 11 sectors advanced on Wednesday with gains ranging from 0.3% to 1.6%. The technology sector, which is the heaviest group, was the top performer, finishing with a gain of 1.6%. Within the tech group, IBM (IBM 168.65, +4.80) jumped 2.9% after Barclays upgraded IBM shares to 'Overweight,' and Apple (AAPL 179.10, +2.91) climbed 1.7% after announcing that it will make a one-time tax payment of $38 billion to repatriate cash holdings overseas and will invest over $30 billion in the U.S. over the next five years, creating 20,000 new jobs. Apple said its decision was the result of recent changes to the U.S. tax law.

The tech group was also underpinned by chipmakers, which sent the PHLX Semiconductor Index higher by 2.9%. Dow component Intel (INTC 44.39, +1.25) climbed 2.9%.

Right behind technology in the sector standings were the consumer staples and health care groups, which advanced 1.2% and 1.0%, respectively. Meanwhile, the telecom services (+0.3%), consumer discretionary (+0.4%), and industrials (+0.5%) sectors finished at the back of the pack. General Electric (GE 17.35, -0.86) weighed heavily on the industrial group, dropping 4.7%, as investors continued selling in reaction to Tuesday's announcement that GE's reinsurance business will incur a larger-than-expected charge of $6.2 billion.

Meanwhile, the financial sector (+0.8%) finished roughly in line with the broader market following fourth quarter earnings from Bank of America (BAC 31.18, -0.06), Goldman Sachs (GS 253.65,, 4.81), U.S. Bancorp (USB 56.34, -0.83), and Charles Schwab (SCHW 56.09, +0.56). All four companies beat earnings estimates, but Charles Schwab was the only one to advance, adding 1.0%. The three other financial heavyweights lost between 0.2% and 1.9%.

In other corporate news, Ford (F 12.18, -0.92) tumbled 7.0% after announcing that it expects lower operating profits in 2018, and Boeing (BA 351.01, +15.85) jumped 4.7% to a new all-time high after announcing a joint venture with Adient (ADNT 77.08, -4.83) to develop, manufacture, and sell a portfolio of seating products to airlines and aircraft leasing companies. Adient shares finished lower by 5.9%.

In the bond market, U.S. Treasuries sold off in the midweek session, sending yields higher across the curve. The yield on the benchmark 10-yr Treasury note finished at 2.57% after closing Tuesday at 2.54% while the 2-yr yield jumped four basis points to 2.05%.

Elsewhere, the major European bourses finished Wednesday on a lower note, with Germany's DAX (-0.5%) leading the retreat, while equity indices in Asia finished mixed. Japan's Nikkei lost 0.4% while Hong Kong's Hang Seng and China's Shanghai Composite added 0.3% and 0.2%, respectively.

Reviewing Wednesday's economic data, which included Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization for December, the NAHB Housing Market Index for January, the Fed's Beige Book, and the weekly MBA Mortgage Applications Index:

  • Industrial Production increased 0.9% in December ( consensus +0.4%), while the November reading was revised to -0.1% (from +0.2%). Capacity Utilization ticked up to 77.9% ( consensus 77.3%) from a revised reading of 77.2% in November (from 77.1%).
    • The key takeaway from this report is that Industrial Production in 2017 increased at its fastest annual pace since 2010.
  • The NAHB Housing Market Index for January declined to 72 ( consensus 73) from an unrevised reading of 74 in December.
  • The Fed's Beige Book showed that the economy continued to expand in all 12 Federal Reserve Districts from late November through the end of 2017. Most Districts said that wages increased at a modest pace, and a few Districts observed that firms were raising wages in a broader range of industries and positions since the previous report.
  • The weekly MBA Mortgage Applications Index increased 4.1% to follow last week's 8.3% rise.

On Thursday, investors will receive several economic reports, including Housing Starts for December ( consensus 1280K), Building Permits for December ( consensus 1290K), weekly Initial Claims ( consensus 251K), and the Philadelphia Fed Index for January ( consensus 24.5). All data will be released at 8:30 AM ET.

  • Nasdaq Composite: +5.7% YTD
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average: +5.7% YTD
  • S&P 500: +4.8% YTD
  • Russell 2000: +3.3% YTD
..NYSE Adv/Dec 1910/1027. ..NASDAQ Adv/Dec 1378/972.

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