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Midday Update: Stocks Resume Rally As Dow and S&P 500 Breach Key Technical Resistances; Nasdaq Composite Tops 5,000

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Stocks are holding on to modest gains today, building on Monday's impressive rally following upbeat earnings from retailers Walmart ( WMT ), Home Depot ( HD ) and the TJX Companies ( TJX ) as well as mixed economic data. The budding rally, however, stalled at the 200-day moving average for the S&P 500 while the advance for the Dow Jones Industrial Average was exacerbated by renewed pressure on energy stocks after crude oil slipped back below $41 per barrel.

Stocks have continued to gain altitude today following upbeat earnings results by Dow components Walmart ( WMT ) and Home Depot ( HD ) as well as mixed economic data fueled another triple-digit gain in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Both the Dow and the S&P 500 were earlier frustrated by strong technical resistance at their respective 200-day moving averages, but have since breached those levels, shrugging off pressure on the energy sector as oil slips back below $41 per barrel.

Tuesday's economic calendar included an as-expected 0.2% increase in the nominal and core consumer price index, neither of which were viewed as ammunition for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates next month.

October industrial production contracted 0.2%, matching a similar decline during the prior month according to the Federal Reserve, while capacity utilization fell to 77.5% from September's upwardly revised 77.7% rate. Wall Street was expecting industrial production to increase 0.1% and capacity utilization to remain unchanged at 77.5%.

Also, the National Association of Home Builders housing market index declined to a 62 reading from October's upwardly revised 65 reading, climbing from initial reports of a 64 reading.

European bourses put in their best performance in more than a month, following the lead from the U.S. on Monday as investors put aside fears of any economic fallout from the Paris terrorist attacks.

Crude oil was down 52 cents to $41.21 per barrel while natural gas was down 2 cents to $2.53 per 1 million BTU. Gold was down $17.60 to $1,066.50 per ounce, while silver was down 6 cents to $14.17 per ounce. Copper was down a penny to $2.12 per pound.

Among energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund was down 2.54% to $13.05 with the United States Natural Gas Fund was down 0.14% to $9.87. Among precious-metal funds, the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF was down 4.0% to 13.17 while SPDR Gold Shares were down 1.53% to $102.16. The iShares Silver Trust was down 0.81% to $13.50.

Here's where the U.S. markets stood at mid-day:

NYSE Composite Index up 42.28 (+0.41%) to 10,341.68

Dow Jones Industrial Average up 44.00 (+0.25%) to 17,527.01

S&P 500 up 4.51 (+0.22%) to 2,057.70

Nasdaq Composite Index up 19.01 (+0.38%) to 5,003.62

GLOBAL SENTIMENT

Nikkei 225 Index up 1.22%

Hang Seng Index up 1.15%

Shanghai China Composite Index down 0.06%

FTSE 100 Index up 1.85%

CAC 40 up 2.77%

DAX up 2.41%

NYSE SECTOR INDICES

NYSE Energy Sector Index down 0.42%

NYSE Financial Sector Index up 0.51%

NYSE Healthcare Sector Index up 0.73%

UPSIDE MOVERS

(+) NUAN (+16.79%) Reported better-than-expected Q4 earnings

(+) OCRX (+15.97%) Announced positive results from the Phase 1 study of OCR-002

(+) EROS (+14.29%) Reported better-than-expected Q2 revenues on earnings that more than doubled from a year earlier but missed consensus forecasts

(+) CMCM (+5.24%) Q3 2015 net income and revenue rose over year ago levels

DOWNSIDE MOVERS

(-) SSY (-20.74%) Reported a Q1 loss of $0.16 per share on $20.5 million in revenue

(-) OSIR (-18.03%) Restating prior financial results for quarter ended and year ended December 31, 2014.

(-) DKS (-11.30%) Missed Q3 earnings and issued downbeat forecast

(-) SPHS (-11.01%) Reported a loss of $0.22 per share

(-) CLVS (-10.19%) Downgraded at Goldman Sachs to neutral from buy, lowered price target by $100

(-) URBN (-7.33%) Reported downbeat Q3 revenue, but in-line quarterly earnings

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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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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