Stock Market News for February 14, 2017

Benchmarks set their third successive record highs in succession on Monday on positive expectations about President Trump's economic policies. Trump's promise to announce new tax proposals over the coming weeks continued to create optimism among investors at large. The S&P 500 rose to an unprecedented market cap of $20 trillion. Meanwhile the Nasdaq set its 23rd record high since Trump's election. Financial and industrial stocks emerged as the leading gainers for the day

For a look at the issues currently facing the markets, make sure to read today's Ahead of Wall Street article.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) increased 0.7%, or 142.79 points, to close at 20,412.16. The S&P 500 rose by 0.5% to close at 2,328.25. The tech-laden Nasdaq Composite Index closed at 5,763.96, also gaining 0.5%. The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) gained 2.8% to settle at 11.15. A total of around 6.3 billion shares were traded Monday, lower than the last 20-session average of 6.7 billion. Advancers outpaced declining stocks on the NYSE. For 57% stocks that advanced, 39% declined.

What Boosted The Benchmarks?

In a meeting with members of the airline industry at the White House on Feb 9, Trump said that his goal for lowering taxes, especially for business was moving "ahead of schedule". Trump's latest announcements raised expectations of a low tax environment, which in turn had a positive impact on the broader markets, in particular, financial stocks. Expectations over such policies have quelled concerns regarding his protectionist approach to trade and his controversial attempts to check immigration. Additionally, there exists a significant lack of clarity regarding the exact shape of his policy measures.

However, Trump's indications of upcoming tax reforms have benefited financials immensely. Banks have been the prime beneficiaries of the rally which began right after election results were announced. This is because investors think that they stand to benefit substantially in a higher rate environment, accompanied by likely deregulation from the Trump administration. Additionally, industrials have increased following rising expectations of a step-up in infrastructure spending, which is likely to raise demand for the sector's products.

In keeping with these sentiments, the Financial Select Sector SPDR (XLF) increased 1.1%, emerging as the highest gainer among the S&P 500's industrial sectors. Dow components Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. ( GS ) and JPMorgan Chase & Co. ( JPM ) gained 1.5% and 1.3%, respectively. Goldman Sachs has a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and JPMorgan possess a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

The Industrial Select Sector SPDR (XLI) gained 1%, emerging as the second higher of the sector gainer. Of its components, Caterpillar Inc. ( CAT ) gained 2.3%, emerging as the highest gainer for the Dow.

Meanwhile, a meeting between Trump and Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudea left markets largely unmoved. This is a significant development given the extent of the differences among the two leaders on a variety of issues, such as climate change and immigration. It is also a welcome one given the volume of trade between the two countries.

Additionally, investors await Fed Chair Janet Yellen's testimony to the Senate Banking Committee later today. It is widely expected that the Fed Chair will reemphasize that central bank maintains a cautious approach to monetary policy.

Stocks That Made Headlines

Hibbett Stock Down on Soft Preliminary Results and Outlook

Hibbett Sports, Inc. ( HIBB ) came out with preliminary results for fourth-quarter fiscal 2017, which remained soft owing to a tough retail environment. ( Read More )

Verizon's Unlimited Data Plans Heat Up Wireless Industry

Verizon Communications Inc. ( VZ ) may have again introduced a new wireless business expansion plans just after the release of its fourth-quarter 2016 financial results. ( Read More )

HP Partners with Bromium; Unveils Sure Click Solution

HP Inc. ( HPQ ) and Bromium Inc. have signed a new agreement aimed at providing secured Internet search experience to users. ( Read More )

Zacks' Top 10 Stocks for 2017

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Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) (GS): Free Stock Analysis Report

J P Morgan Chase & Co (JPM): Free Stock Analysis Report

Caterpillar, Inc. (CAT): Free Stock Analysis Report

Hibbett Sports, Inc. (HIBB): Free Stock Analysis Report

Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ): Free Stock Analysis Report

HP Inc. (HPQ): Free Stock Analysis Report

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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.

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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