Benchmarks ended in positive territory on for the fifth straight trading day on Thursday, with both the Dow and S&P 500 posting their best such feat since December 2011. Both the two indexes are now up over 4% for the year and are on the way to post their biggest weekly increases since November 2016. Additionally, the Nasdaq has increased more than 5% for the year. The tech-heavy index is also on the verge of registering its best weekly performance since 2011.
How the Benchmarks Fared?
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) increased 1.2%, or 307.36 points, to close at 25,200.37. The S&P 500 rose 1.2% to close at 2,731.20. The tech-laden Nasdaq Composite Index closed at 7,256.43, gaining 1.6%. The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) decreased 3.2% to close at 18.65. A total of 7.12 billion shares were traded on Thursday, lower than the last 20-session average of 8.46 billion shares. Advancers outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by a 2.27-to-1 ratio. On Nasdaq, a 2.25-to-1 ratio favored advancing issues.
Markets Recover for Fifth Straight Day
All the key U.S. indexes rebounded and increased for the fifth consecutive trading day after entering correction territory last week. Although, the movement lacked specific catalysts, part of the day's gains were fueled by strong earnings and a resilient U.S. economy. For the S&P 500, 10 of the 11 key sectors increased on Thursday, with utilities and technology stocks leading the way.
On the earnings front, shares of Cisco Systems, Inc. CSCO advanced 4.7% after reporting fiscal second quarter earnings per share and revenues that beat their respective Zacks Consensus Estimate. Additionally, the company's top line registered its first year-over-year rise in around two years. ( Read More )
Additionally, Apple Inc's AAPL shares surged 3.4% after Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway BRK.B increased its stake in Apple by more than 23% during the fourth quarter. Berkshire Hathaway raised the stake in the tech giant from 134.09 million in third quarter to 165.33 million in fourth quarter. Applehas a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Gains in Apple and Cisco led the Technology Select Sector SPDR (XLK) to advance 1.9%, becoming the second biggest gainer among the key S&P 500 sectors. Along with Apple other FAAMG stocks, Facebook, Inc. FB , Amazon.com, Inc. AMZN , Microsoft Corporation MSFT and Alphabet Inc. GOOGL increased 0.3%, 0.7%, 2% and 1.7%, respectively.
Further, the Utilities Select Sector SPDR (XLU) climbed 2.2% and was the best performing S&P 500 sector. Some of its key holdings, including NextEra Energy, Inc. NEE and Exelon Corporation EXC rose 2.9% and 2.5%, respectively.
Economic Data In Focus
In economic news, the U.S. Department of Labor reported that initial claims advanced by 7,000 to a level of 230,000 for the week ending Feb 10. Although, initial claims increased, it still remains below the level of 300,000, implying a tighter labor market.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that Producer Price Index (PPI) rose 0.4% last month, after remaining unchanged in December. PPI registered year-over-year increase of 2.7% in January. Also, core-PPI increased 0.4% in January, better than December's rise of 0.2%. Core-PPI advanced 2.5% year-over-year in January, registering its best rise since August 2014.
Moreover, industrial production decreased by 0.1% in January. Also, capacity utilization declined from 77.7% in December to 77.5% in January. Domestic factory output clearly remained flat for second consecutive month.
Stocks That Made Headline
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