Close Update: Averages Ink Record Highs As Retailers Report Strong Q4

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Fueled by strong quarterly results in the retail sector and sizable gains in oil futures, the benchmark averages closed at record highs with the Dow Jones Industrial Average in its longest winning streak since this summer. Component stocks Walmart ( WMT ) and Home Depot ( HD ) led Dow advancers after both companies reported upbeat Q4 results, contributing to a 1% gain in the consumer staple sector of the S&P 500.

Shares were briefly under pressure by an unexpected miss in the purchasing manager's manufacturing and services sector indices for February. The manufacturing PMI declined to 54.3 from 55.0 in January, and services dropped to 53.9 from 55.6 previously. Both, however, remained comfortably above the 50.0 expansionary threshold.

Additionally, Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker echoed last week's statements about three "modest" rate hikes in 2017 as the labor market is "more or less back to full health." Harker is a voting member of the Fed in 2017.

Oil futures were underpinned by production forecasts after members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries honored recent production cuts, with non-OPEC members expected to initiate comparable production levels. Accordingly, brent crude oil futures set a two-week high, while its domestic counterpart, West Texas Intermediate, was up 1.2%.

For Wednesday, the Federal Open Market Committee releases the minutes of its last policy meeting, and existing home sales are forecasted to increase 1.5% to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 5.575 million.

Here's where the markets stood at the close:


Dow Jones Industrial Index was up 118.95 points (+0.58%)

S&P 500 was up 14.22 points (+0.60%)

Nasdaq Composite Index was up 27.37 points (+0.47%)


FTSE 100 was down 0.34%

Nikkei 225 was up 0.68%

Hang Seng Index was down 0.76%

Shanghai China Composite Index was up 0.41%


(+) EYEG (+126.99%) Agreed to exclusive marketing agreement with Valeant ( VRX ) for Eye Gate II Delivery System and EGP-437

(+) TROX (+35.02%) Announced acquisition of Cristal's TiO2 business for $1.673 billion in cash, reported lighter-than-expected Q4 loss

(+) PLKI (+19.07%) To be acquired by Restaurant Brands International ( QSR )

(+) DGAS (+17.06%) Agrees to be acquired Peoples Gas for $30.50 per share


(-) RTK (-47.64%) Idled Wawa wood pallet facility in Ontario, plans to explore strategic alternatives

(-) TRVN (-40.11%) Reported positive development in phase 3 Apollo-1 and Apollo-2 trials, but results showed lower rates of depressed breathing and only statistically significant observation was found in the lowest doses

(-) CDTX (-38.46%) Topical formulation of CD101 failed to demonstrate a sufficient treatment effect in phase 2 clinical trial

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Copyright (C) 2016 All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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