Stock Market News for February 21, 2017

Benchmarks finished at record highs on Friday, thanks to the euphoria surrounding President Donald Trump's proposed market-friendly policies including the prospects of massive tax cuts and uptick in infrastructure spending. Gains in Kraft Heinz also helped the broader markets gain traction, while the Dow eked out gains to extend its record-setting winning streak into a seventh session on Feb 17. Markets were closed on Monday to commemorate President's 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) advanced a meagre 0.02% to close at 20,624.05. The S&P 500 gained 0.2% to close at 2,351.16. The tech-laden Nasdaq Composite Index closed at 5,838.58, increasing 0.4%. The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) went up 1.5% to settle at 11.93. A total of around 6.4 billion shares were traded on Friday, below the last 20-session average of 6.8 billion. Advancers outpaced declining stocks on the NYSE. For 50% stocks that advanced, 46% declined.

Trump Rally

Trump's polices including tax cuts, repealing regulations and pickup in infrastructure outlays restored expectations of a pro-growth agenda that helped the major indexes push further into record territory. Trump plans to overhaul tax codes for business and individuals over the next two to three weeks. He plans a multi-trillion-dollar tax cut that would boost the U.S. economy and lift corporate profits. Such a tax cut included trimming of the business tax rate to 15% from 35%, reducing individual tax rates and repealing the estate tax (read more: 5 Explosive Growth Stocks to Tap Best Win Streak in 25 Years ).

Trump also keeps talking about how he wants to reconstruct America's roads, bridges and other infrastructures, which led his administration, unveil a proposal to spend $1 trillion over the next 10 years. He, in fact, in his campaign released a proposal to offer $137 billion in tax breaks to investors who want to finance toll roads, bridges or other projects (read more: Top Stock Picks for Trumps Trillion Dollar Infrastructure Plan ).

The new president has also signed an executive order designed to scale back the Dodd-Frank Act. Trump views the Dodd-Frank regulatory overhaul as a harsh measure, especially, on banks as they had to beef up compliance compartments to deal with a list of new rules.

Kraft Heinz Gains

Shares of Kraft Heinz Co ( KHC ), meantime, soared 10.7% after the company said it would continue to pursue a $143 billion bid for Unilever plc ( UL ). Unilever had rejected Kraft's initial merger offer (read more: Unilever Rejects Undervalued Merger Bid from Kraft Heinz ).

The broader Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP) advanced 0.6%, the highest among the S&P 500 sectors. Key consumer staples stocks including The Procter & Gamble Company ( PG ), The Coca-Cola Company ( KO ), Philip Morris International, Inc. ( PM ) and Pepsico, Inc. ( PEP ) also increased 0.3%, 0.1%, 0.6% and 0.1%, respectively. You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Weekly Roundup

For the week, the Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq advanced 1.8%, 1.5% and 1.8%, respectively. The optimism over President Donald Trump's proposed market-friendly policies including tax cuts, financial de-regulation and increase in infrastructure spending boosted all the three key indexes for the week.

Stocks in the News

Home Depot Tops Q4 Earnings, Updates Capital Strategy

The Home Depot Inc. ( HD ) reported better-than-expected bottom-line results for fourth-quarter fiscal 2016, retaining its four-year long trend of beating earnings estimates. ( Read More )

Accenture to Buy Stake in Digital Agency SinnerSchrader AG

Accenture plc ( ACN ) recently announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire a majority stake in SinnerSchrader AG. (Read More)

Dean Foods Down on Q4 Earnings Miss, Gives 2017 View

Dean Foods Company ( DF ) posted fourth-quarter 2016 results, wherein earnings lagged estimates and sales came almost in line. ( Read More )

MGM Resorts Q4 Earnings Lag, Revenues Top, Stock Down

Shares of MGM Resorts International ( MGM ) were down over 9% in yesterday's trading session after the company posted mixed results for the fourth quarter of 2016. ( Read More )

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The Kraft Heinz Company (KHC): Free Stock Analysis Report

Unilever PLC (UL): Free Stock Analysis Report

Procter & Gamble Company (The) (PG): Free Stock Analysis Report

Coca-Cola Company (The) (KO): Free Stock Analysis Report

Philip Morris International Inc (PM): Free Stock Analysis Report

Pepsico, Inc. (PEP): Free Stock Analysis Report

Home Depot, Inc. (The) (HD): Free Stock Analysis Report

Accenture PLC (ACN): Free Stock Analysis Report

Dean Foods Company (DF): Free Stock Analysis Report

MGM Resorts International (MGM): 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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