With a Chinese-American "trade war" averted for now - although many, like Zacks Exec VP Kevin Matras , have long argued we were never going to wind up in one anyway - market indexes have breathed easier, with the Dow up nearly 300 points to close above 25K from the first time since all-time highs were being scaled early this year. In fact, all major indexes closed in the green yesterday, and look to build modestly on those levels in today's pre-market.
Specifically, China has agreed to lower its tariff on imported U.S. autos from 25% to 15%, and this followed concessions made by President Trump that lifts a trade ban to Chinese telecom giant ZTE. Perhaps we'll see more specifics regarding the trade environment between the world's two largest economies, but ultimately, until things like Intellectual Property and the respect thereof are addressed, don't expect much by way of seismic shifts in our trade relationship with China. That said, pressures the markets have felt since Trump's decision 12 weeks ago to crank up tariffs on steel and aluminum are finally feeling some relief, and it shows.
For more on this subject, check out a new Zacks article on Chinese-American trade relations: U.S.-China Work Out Trade Truce: 5 Top Winners
Elsewhere, we see the Russell 2000 continue to make gains relative to the major U.S. indexes. Though this large group of small-cap stocks only accounts for not even 10% of publicly traded domestic market cap, many analysts look at trades into small-caps as a "risk-on" environment, which naturally supports bullish market sentiment, and may key another leg up on the Dow, Nasdaq and S&P 500.
In company-specific news, J.C. Penney JCP has lost its CEO Marvin Ellison, effective immediately, as the chief of the beleaguered department store retailer has accepted the CEO role at home improvement major Lowe's L this summer. This has caused JCP shares to plummet yet another 8.4% in today's pre-market, down to barely north of $2 per share - levels not seen since the 1980s, and a universe away from its peak a year prior to the Great Recession over a decade ago of more than $82 per share. Fortunes for the long-suffering retailer may now be in doubt.
For Lowe's, which had seen its all-time highs back in the heady January 2018 days, this morning's news is being received quite well, to the tune of +2.8% in share price. The Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) specialty retailer expects to benefit from Ellison's tenure at rival Home Depot HD prior to his station as head of J.C. Penney. Current-year earnings estimates - prior to this move - were for the company to make $3.50 per share, up 22% from 2017.
Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report The Home Depot, Inc. (HD): Free Stock Analysis Report Loews Corporation (L): Free Stock Analysis Report J. C. Penney Company, Inc. (JCP): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research