Midday Update: Tax Reform Chatter Drives Dow, S&P 500 To Record Highs

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Wall Street's major averages lunged higher at midday on Tuesday as hopes for an imminent pro-growth tax reform package drove the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 to record highs.

Republican Senator John Cornyn ignited a triple-digit rally in the Dow after suggesting a "tentative tax bill today", which added to earlier gains made as investors' risk tolerance remained intact ahead of the conclusion to the last Federal Open Market Committee meeting this year.

This morning's inflation data should give the Fed additional ammunition to raise interest rates another 25 basis points on Wednesday and raise its growth and inflation forecasts for 2018. Producer prices increased 0.4% in November, exceeding Wall Street expectations by 0.01%. Excluding prices for food and fuel, the producer price index was up 0.3% last month, also slightly above expectations.

Before Tuesday's open, stock futures were gaining altitude on gains in the oil markets and European bourses. Brent crude oil traded above $65 per barrel amid supply pressures after the vital Forties North Sea pipeline was shut down due to damage. Gains spread into West Texas intermediate, driving up shares of oil producers across Europe and the US.

Accordingly, European markets were higher on strength in the energy complex as well as a $5 billion merger between France's Atos and the Netherlands' Gemalto.

Crude oil was down $0.79 to $57.20 per barrel. Natural gas was down $0.11 to $2.72 per 1 million BTU. Gold was down $7.30 to $1,239.60 an ounce, while silver was down $0.11 to $15.67 an ounce. Copper was up $0.002 to $3.01 per pound.

Among energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund was down 1.34% to $11.44 with the United States Natural Gas Fund was down 2.79% to $5.40. Amongst precious-metal funds, the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF was down 0.87% to 21.36 while SPDR Gold Shares were down 0.40% to $117.53. The iShares Silver Trust was down 0.46% to $14.78.

Here's where the markets stand at mid-day:


NYSE Composite Index was up 36.05 points (+0.28%) to 12,704.26

Dow Jones Industrial Index was up 94.07 points (+0.39%) to 24,480.10

S&P 500 was up 8.14 points (+0.31%) to 2,668.13

Nasdaq Composite Index was up 9.15 points (+0.13%) to 6,884.26


FTSE 100 was up 43.58 points (+0.58%) to 7,497.06

DAX was up 35.71 points (+0.27%) to 13,159.36

CAC 40 was up 30.52 points (+0.57%) to 5,417.35

Nikkei 225 was down 72.56 points (-0.32%) to 22,866.17

Hang Seng Index was down 171.41 points (-0.59%) to 28,793.88

Shanghai China Composite Index was down 41.19 points (-1.24%) to 3,281.01


NYSE Energy Sector Index was down 0.46 points (0.00%) to 11,047.51

NYSE Financial Sector Index was up 53.27 points (+0.65%) to 8,230.80

NYSE Healthcare Sector Index was up 88.59 points (+0.63%) to 14,337.40


(+) PTI (+164.68%) Reported positive results across all three cystic fibrosis pipeline programs

(+) GLYC (+23.40%) Reported positive results from phase 1/2 trial of GMI-1271

(+) NVFY (+5.04%) Approved $5 million share buyback program


(-) PPHM (-20.28%) Will wind down R&D investments

(-) ACER (-18.81%) Priced public offering of 916,667 shares at $12 per share

(-) CYCC (-8.27%) Results from phase 3 SEAMLESS clinical trial did not achieve primary endpoing

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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