Markets finished at record levels on Tuesday after banks and healthcare stocks rallied. Further, reports that Boeing had delivered a record number of airplanes in 2017 pushed the Dow into record territory. Both, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq increased for the sixth consecutive sessions. Meanwhile, a report from the National Federation of Independent Businesses showed that small-business optimism declined in December.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) increased 0.4% to close at 25,385.80. The S&P 500 rose 0.1% to close at 2,751.29. The Nasdaq Composite Index closed at 7,163.58, gaining 0.1%. The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) increased almost 6.3% to close at 10.12. Decliners outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by a 1.23-to-1 ratio. On Nasdaq, a 1.02-to-1 ratio favored declining issues.
Gains for Boeing Push the Dow Higher
Shares of Boeing BA surged on Tuesday following reports that the aero-giant delivered a record 763 commercial airplanes in 2017. This marks a fresh record for the airplane maker as it surpassed its earlier record in 2015 by one unit.
The company also announced that it had booked orders for 912 commercial airplanes, which is its seventh highest annual total. This led to its highest ever order backlog, which rose to 5,864 airplanes by the end of 2017. Such a backlog is worth around seven years of production. Such events led to shares of Boeing gaining 2.7%, which contributed as much as 57 points to the Dow.
The blue-chip index amassed 120.8 points on Tuesday to finish at a record 25,385.80. What also contributed to Dow's gains was increase in the shares of Johnson & Johnson JNJ , which gained 1.6% and added 15 points to the Dow. You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here .
Further, the Dow Jones Transportation Average (DJT) closed at a record level after surging 0.2%. Supporting gains for the index were shares of Matson, Inc. MATX and J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc. JBHT , which gained 1.7% and 1.9%, respectively.
S&P 500 and Nasdaq Post Record Closes
The S&P 500 gained 3.6 points to close at a record for the sixth straight session. The marks its best start to a year since 1987. Of the 11 major sectors of the broad-market index, only five ended in the positive territory with healthcare and financials leading the advancers and real estate the laggards.
However, losses from real estate were more than made up by gains from financial and healthcare stocks. The Health Care Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLV) and Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLF) gained 1.2% and 0.8%, respectively.
Meanwhile, Nasdaq added 6.2 points to also close at a record for the sixth straight session - its highest since the period between 1992 and 1999. Gains for the tech-laden index were broad-based. Markets also gained traction due to optimism surrounding the strong market rally that kicked off 2018.
On the economic data front, the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) reported that the index of small-business optimism tanked 2.6 points to 104.9 for the month of December. Such a decline comes right after the Republican Tax Bill was implemented.
The decline can be owed to sluggishness and imbalance in the labor market which has impacted hiring in the United States. Moreover, the capex for December increased only marginally, which further dampened the small-business sentiment.
Stocks That Made Headlines
Nordstrom Inc. JWN has concluded a dull 2017 on a strong note, reporting modest improvement in sales and comparable store sales (comps) for the combined months of November and December, which primarily comprises the holiday season. (Read More )
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