Dow books 150-point gain as stock market overcomes ‘act of pure evil’ to end at records

U.S. stock benchmarks closed at all-time highs on Monday afternoon, as equities resumed a steady run-up that could set the tone for the final three months of 2017. Four main benchmarks set records: the S&P 500 index, the Dow, the Nasdaq and the small-cap Russell, shaking off a mass shooting in Las Vegas that President Donald Trump described as “an act of pure evil.”

What are the stock benchmarks doing?

The S&P 500 index SPX, +0.39% advanced by 9.76 points, or 0.4%, finishing at a record 2,529.12, powered by gains in the health-care and financials sectors, up 1% and 0.9%, respectively. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.68% added 152.51 points, or 0.7%, to a fresh all-time peak at 22,557.60, supported by gains in 3M Co. MMM, +1.36% and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. GS, +1.46%

The Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +0.32% meanwhile, tacked on 20.76 points, or 0.3%, to 6,516.72. The Russell 2000 Index RUT, +1.25% also carved out a record, up 1.3% at 1,509.47.

“l think what’s driving the market is just optimism about the fourth quarter, along with expectations that results from the third quarter will be similar to the second quarter,” said Robert Pavlik, chief market strategist at Boston Private Wealth. He also said hope that the Trump administration will rework tax policy is supporting buying appetite, although doubts linger about that coming to fruition this year.

“The continued talk [about taxes] that’s all that really matters, but I don’t think that anything gets voted on and passed this year,” he said.

Shares in MGM Resorts International MGM, -5.58% dropped 5.6% in the wake of a mass shooting at the company’s Mandalay Bay property in Las Vegas. A gunman opened fire on a crowd at an outdoor country-music concert in Las Vegas on Sunday night, leaving at least 58 people dead and more than 500 injured.

Gun-maker shares were active in Monday trade. Smith & Wesson parent American Outdoor Brands Corp.’s AOBC, +3.21% stock jumped 3.2%, while Sturm, Ruger & Co. Inc. stocks RGR, +3.48% climbed 3.5%. Vista Outdoor Inc., shares VSTO, +2.44% were 2.4% higher.

Streaming-media company Roku Inc.’s stock ROKU, -11.23% traded 11.2% lower. The new issue surged in its trading debut Thursday, then jumped again Friday.

What’s driving the market?

The closely watched ISM manufacturing index was at 60.8 in September, representing the highest level for the economic reading since 2004. A reading of 50 indicates expansion. A separate reading on manufacturing activity from IHS Markit came in at 53.1 for the same month, compared with 52.8 in the prior month. Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected a reading of 58.1% for ISM’s index, down from 58.8% in August.

Construction spending, meanwhile, increased 0.5% during the month, and stood 2.5% higher than a year ago. Outlays were at a seasonally adjusted annual $1.22 trillion rate in August, while July’s initial tally was raised to $1.212 trillion. The median forecast among economists surveyed by MarketWatch was for a 0.4% increase.




Dow ends up 150 points as Trump says Las Vegas shooting an ‘act of pure evil’

The Dow Jones Industrial Average, and the broader stock market, finished in record territory on Monday, as President Donald Trump addressed a mass shooting in Las Vegas that left scores dead and injured. Trump described the shooting, which killed at least 58 and left more than 400 casualties, as an “act of pure evil” in a speech delivered at 10:50 a.m. Eastern. The Dow DJIA, +0.68% finished up 0.7% at 22,557, the S&P 500 index SPX, +0.39% climbed 0.4% at 2,529, while the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +0.32% ended up 0.3% at 6,516. The Dow and S&P 500 were hovering at all-time highs as investors focused on upbeat expectations for third-quarter corporate results. A gunman on the 32nd floor fired at a crowd at an open-air concert at the Mandalay Bay Casino late Sunday. Flags in Washington, D.C. have been flying at half staff and a moment of silence was observed at the White House, and earlier Monday at U.S. stock exchanges.

Dow, S&P 500, Nasdaq, Russell 2000 all end at records

U.S. stock indexes registered a quartet of records on Monday as investors shook off a massacre in Las Vegas to take stocks further into record territory. The Dow DJIA, +0.68% closed up about 150 points, or 0.7%, at 22,557, the S&P 500 index SPX, +0.39% rose 0.4% at 2,529, while the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +0.32% advanced 0.3% at 6,516. The biggest advance, however, was in the small-capitalization oriented Russell 2000 RUT, +1.25% which was set to the book a record of its own, up about 1.3% on the day. Optimism around President Donald Trump’s tax overhaul proposal coming to fruition and expectations that third-quarter results will be strong, have powered stocks higher, despite a Las Vegas shooting, which cast a pall over the market. A lone gunman late Sunday killed at least 58 people and injured more than 500 in the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history. In corporate news, Roku Inc. shares ROKU, -11.23% ended the session down more than 11% retreating after the media-streaming company’s stellar debut as a publicly traded company.

Dow finishes lower as Disney and Goldman shares tumble

U.S. stock indexes ended slightly lower Thursday as investors sold financials, consumer-discretionary and telecommunication shares, with Disney and Goldman Sachs exacting a hefty toll on the Dow industrials.

Investors were tracking Hurricane Irma and registering the latest policy stance from European Central Bank President Mario Draghi’s. The ECB left key interest rates unchanged, while Draghi indicated that the decision on how to taper a quantitative-easing program will come in October.

The S&P 500 SPX, +0.18% finished the session down 0.44 point, or less than 0.1%, at 2,465.10, led by a 2.1% decline in telecommunications, a 1.7% loss in financials, and a 0.9% slide in the consumer-discretionary sector

Banking stocks fell sharply following a drop in the 10-year Treasury note yield TMUBMUSD10Y, +0.76% which declined nearly 5 basis points to 2.061%. Lower bond yields can undercut banks’ business models of borrowing short-term and lending long.

The Financials Select Sector SPDR Fund XLF, +0.30% closed down 1.7%, ending below a long-term trend line for the first time in 14 months, while PowerShares KBW Regional Banking Portfolio ETF KBWR, +0.35% closed down 2.6%.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.29% meanwhile, lost 22.86 points, or 0.1%, to close at 21,784.78. Walt Disney Co. DIS, +0.63% fell 4.4% after the entertainment giant’s CEO Bob Iger lowered Wall Street’s full-year guidance for earnings. Shares of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. GS, -0.72% also weighed on the average, down 1.4%.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +0.30% meanwhile, eked out a slight gain, up 4.55 points, or 0.1%, at 6,397.37.

Some analysts suggested that the combination of devastating hurricanes pummeling the U.S. and the Caribbean and the potential escalation of nuclear threats in North Korea is keeping investors cautious. Category 5 Hurricane Irma has wrecked a string of Caribbean islands as it barrels toward the Florida coast.

“Investors don’t want to go into the weekend when North Korea is scheduled to show its military prowess during the Founders day celebration without their hedges in place,” said Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Financial.

That said, stocks have remained largely resilient in the face of escalating geopolitical tensions, storm damage, lofty valuations, and central-bank moves.

Economic news: Initial jobless claims in the period running from Aug. 27 to Sept. 2 surged by 62,000 to 298,000, reaching the highest level since spring 2015, largely due to Hurricane Harvey that left many in Texas unable to work.

Among Federal Reserve speakers, Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester, speaking at the Economic Club of Pittsburgh, said she backs a gradual increase of interest rates.

New York Fed President William Dudley will speak at New York University at 7 p.m. Eastern. Later, Kansas City Fed President Esther George will discuss the U.S. economic outlook at the Omaha Economic Forum in Omaha, Neb., at 8:15 p.m. Eastern.

On Wednesday, Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer said Wednesday that he would resign from the central bank next month.

Dow industrials rally 260 points, retake 22,000 level, as worries over Hurricane Irma, North Korea abate

U.S. stock-index benchmarks closed sharply higher on Monday, as Hurricane Irma hit Florida with less force than expected and North Korea failed to conduct another nuclear missile test over the weekend, helping to lure investors into buying assets perceived as risky like equities. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.29% closed about 259.58 points, or 1.2%, higher at 22,057.37, while the S&P 500 index SPX, +0.18% climbed 1.1% at 2,488.11, marking a fresh record for the broad-market gauge. The Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +0.30% rallied 1.1% at 6,432.26, and ended within range of its all-time closing high. A re-emergence of risky assets also helped to drive up yields in Treasury bonds, with the 10-year Treasury note TMUBMUSD10Y, +0.76% hitting 2.13% Monday afternoon, compared with 2.05% late Friday. Bond prices and yields move inversely. Gold futures GCZ7, -0.44% also sold off. In corporate news, investors awaited the debut of Apple Inc.’s AAPL, +1.01% new iPhone 8 on Tuesday. Elsewhere, shares of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. TEVA, -1.42% finished 17% higher, after the Israeli drug company on Monday named Lundbeck’s Kare Schultz as its new chief executive. Wall Street marked the anniversary of 9/11.

Dow, Nasdaq end at records on the same day for first time in 6 weeks

All three major U.S. stock indexes booked all-time closing highs on Tuesday, though gains were capped by unsteady trade in technology, after a brisk, broad-market run-up in the previous session.

It marks the first time all three benchmarks finished at records on the same day since July 26, underlining a resurgence, albeit measured, in buying on Wall Street. Investors also focused on a key product debut from Apple.


The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.29%  rose 61.49 points, or 0.3%, to finish at 22,118.86, its 36th record of 2017. Gains were limited, however, by a sharp decline in shares of McDonald’s Corp. MCD, -0.05% which booked its worst one-day decline since July 26, 2016, according to FactSet data. The drop was being attributed to a bearish note by research company M Science.

The S&P 500 SPX, +0.18%  added 8.37 points, or 0.3%, to close at 2,496.48, notching its second record in as many days and its 32nd this year, led by a second straight day of gains for financials as the yield of the 10-year Treasury note climbed to TMUBMUSD10Y, +0.76% 2.17%, compared with around 2.05% late last week. Rising yields support the business models of lenders like Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

The Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +0.30% finished up 22.02 points, or 0.3%, at 6,454.28, overcoming early session wobbles to book its 47th all-time high for the technology-laden index this year.

 Robert Pavlik, chief market strategist at Boston Private Wealth, said recent moves are a combination of the unwind of the so-called fear trade, which has helped to lift rates and the banking sector—typically a bellwether for the rest of the economy—in tandem. He said the market has broadly offered signs that it is growing at a healthy, if not at a robust pace, which should be taken as a bullish sign.

Recent data may support that notion, with data showing job openings in the U.S. hitting a record in July. The Labor Department reported on Tuesday that openings edged up to 6.17 million in July from 6.12 million in June. It is the first time openings have topped 6 million for two straight months since the government began keeping track in 2000.

Moreover, incomes in the U.S. jumped last year, allowing the average American household to finally recover the ground it lost in the past two recessions, according to Census Bureau data.

“Today’s movement is a [further] unwinding of the fear trade,” Pavlik said. He has maintained a fairly rosy outlook for the S&P 500 with a year-end forecast at 2,535, less than 2% from present levels.

“There will be some more volatility before the month is over, but I am not letting that bother me,” Pavlik said. “I am seeing a [corporate] earnings environment that is supportive at these levels, but we will likely get these periods where people are worried abut valuations,” he said.

Market participants also are looking for further signs that fiscal-stimulus measures promised by President Donald Trump during his presidential campaign may still have a chance of coming to fruition on the heels of an interview with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on CNBC Tuesday morning at an investment conference in New York.

Dow closes at record, but S&P 500, Nasdaq finish lower after Fed meeting

The Dow industrials closed Wednesday at a record for a second straight session but other benchmarks finished lower as the Federal Reserve hiked the fed-funds futures rate after its two-day policy meeting, as expected, and indicated that it would reduce its $4.5 trillion balance sheet “this year.”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.35% closed up 46.09 points, or 0.2%, at a record 21,374.56, after touching an intraday record at 21,391.97. Gains in shares of Home Depot Inc. HD, -1.46% Travelers Cos. TRV, -0.23% and General Electric Co. GE, -0.81% led the average higher, with shares of Chevron Corp. CVX, +0.53% DuPont DD, +0.40% and Exxon Mobil Corp. XOM, +0.50% dragging.

The S&P 500 SPX, -0.18% declined 2.43 points, or 0.1%, to 2,437.92, with five of the 11 main sectors finishing lower. Consumer-staples and utilities shares were leading gains, both up 0.6%, while materials declined 1.1% and the energy sector dropped 1.8%

Meanwhile, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, -0.09% was the worst performer among the main U.S. equity gauges, finishing down 25.48 points, or 0.4%, at 6,194.89.

The Fed hiked the fed-funds rate by a quarter-point to between 1% and 1.25%.

“Many hoped the Fed would give details about the unwinding of the balance sheet, like how much and how soon and at what pace. But the Fed was vague, only saying it will start to ‘shrink gradually’ sometime this year. They gave themselves a lot of leverage to shrink the balance sheet as they see fit,” said JJ Kinahan, chief market strategist at TD Ameritrade.

“When a rate hike probability is at 99%, it is very difficult to have a big reaction after the announcement,” he said.

Stocks are showing a muted reaction to the Fed announcement but they’re still focused on growth, unlike bonds, which are moving more cautiously, said Joe Saluzzi, co-head of equity trading at Themis Trading.

“Everyone’s chewing on the inflation part,” Saluzzi said. “The real story is if the economy is growing and [the Fed is] saying ‘Ehh…not really.’”

Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen, in a news conference, said she still expects inflation to hit a 2% target next year, mentioning that recent declines are coming from such areas as telecom.

Earlier in the session, disappointing readings on inflation and retail sales for May sparked a so-called flight to safety, pushing bond yields and the dollar sharply lower. That, combined with a sharp drop in crude-oil futures, helped to undercut the market’s early optimism.

Shannon Saccocia, head of asset allocation & portfolio strategy at Boston Private, said softer data are consistent with recent trends of weakness but were unlikely to change the Federal Reserve’s well-telegraphed plan to raise interest rates.

“The market can absorb three rates hikes this year, though the Fed might pause in raising rates after this patch of soft economic data,” Saccocia said. The next opportunity to lift rates again comes in September.

Earlier, stock futures largely shrugged off news of a shooting in northern Virginia, where House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and several other people were wounded after a gunman opened fire during a baseball practice. The suspected shooter died after a gunbattle with police.

Saccocia said the market may continue to ignore the shooting unless it turns out to be an organized plan involving more than just a lone shooter.

Oil-related stocks were among the worst performers on the S&P 500, with shares of Transocean Ltd. RIG, +2.75% down 5.1%, Murphy Oil Corp. MUR, -0.21% stock down 5.4%, and shares of National Oilwell Varco Inc. NOV, +0.96% down 4.9%.

United Parcel Service Inc. UPS, +0.37% shares declined 0.4%, amid a shooting that occurred at a San Francisco facility that left at least four dead.

H&R Block Inc. HRB, -1.39% soared 7.9% after the tax preparer posted better-than-expected earnings late Tuesday.

Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc. ALXN, -0.91% shares rallied 9.3% after the drugmaker late Tuesday named as its chief financial officer Paul Clancy, formerly of Biog

Dow posts biggest one-day fall in 3 months; concerns over Trump agenda grow

U.S. equities fell on Thursday on concerns President Trump’s recent controversies will make it less likely for Congress to work with him to pass business-friendly legislation.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 274.14 points, or 1.2 percent, for its biggest drop since May 17, to close at 21,750.73. The index also snapped a four-day winning streak. Cisco Systems was the biggest decliner on the Dow after sales for one of its key segments rose less than expected.

The index started falling earlier on fears that Gary Cohn, a business friendly advisor to the president, could resign his role as director of National Economic Council because of Trump’s remarks following the violent protests in Charlottesville, VA.

 “This [situation] is definitely disappointing for investors holding out hope for tax reform,” Mike Baele, managing director at U.S. Bank Private Client Reserve. “It doesn’t mean it’s not going to happen, but it certainly” dampens the outlook.

The Dow briefly pared losses when reports indicated Cohn has no plans to resign and it was just speculation. Still, the concern remains that members of Congress and others in the business community would not want to work with the President following the backlash that led Trump to dissolve two CEO advisory forums.

“We’ve had a lot of things happen recently, so if people want to sell, they have reasons to do it,” said Anthony Conroy, president at Abel Noser. “We’ve also had a couple of really strong days so it’s no surprise to see some profit taking.”

The S&P 500 pulled back by 1.5 percent to close at 2,430.01— marking its worst with information technology leading all sectors lower.

The Nasdaq composite lagged, falling 1.9 percent to 6,221.91, marking its third-largest daily drop of the year. The Russell 2000, meanwhile, closed below its 200-day moving average — a key technical level — for the first time since June 2016.

Stocks began a brief midday comeback after a tweet from Axios signaled Cohn was staying despite the rumors.

Dow Is Waiting For A Bounce

Friday offered the opportunity for more but in the end it was honors even between bulls and bears.

The S&P finished the week on bearish net technicals on higher volume distribution. One positive was a potential doji (and a chance for a ‘bullish morning star’ on Monday) which is a chance for bulls to buy the open with a stop on a loss of 2,420. Another is the very strong relative performance – when money comes into the market it’s the S&P where it’s going.

A second bite of the cherry for bulls? The prior week saw a successful support test but it didn’t amount to much. Whether there is something here will depend on how markets (and the NASDAQ) open on Monday. Technicals are net negative along with weak relative performance so perhaps holding off on new positions may actually be the most prudent thing to do.

The Russell 2000 may be the index to take a long punt on. Friday’s ‘spinning top’ speaks more of indecision but with the NASDAQ and S&P on support and this index heavily oversold (look at intermediate and short term stochastics) then it may be time to buy with a stop on a loss of 1,350.

The Dow had the worst of Friday’s action but with the convergence of 20-day and 50-day MAs there may be something for bulls to work with. Look for a bounce off the moving averages.

The other index to watch is the Semiconductor Index. Friday’s black candlestick is not the bearish warning such candlesticks play when they appear in a top. This time with the index at channel support it might instead be viewed as a positive pullback support retest; stops on a loss of 1,050.

A few opportunities to watch on Monday. Please note, I will be on vacation until September 3rd. Hopefully, Donald Trump will not have nuked the world before I return.


Dow ends at record for 8th straight day, powered by jobs report

U.S. stocks closed higher on Friday, with the Dow ending at a record for an eighth straight session following a read on the labor market that came in above expectations, a sign that current valuations may be supported by current economic activity.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.30% gained 66.71 points, or 0.3%, to 22,092.81, finishing at its highs of the session, which also represented an intraday record. The blue-chip average has risen for a nine straight trading days, its longest such streak since February. With the day’s record, it has now posted 34 record closes thus far this year.

The S&P 500 SPX, +0.19%  rose 4.67 points, or 0.2%, to 2,476.83, while the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +0.18% climbed 11.22 points, or 0.2%, at 6,351.56. All three indexes dipped into slightly negative territory within the first hour of trading, but subsequently rebounded, ending near their highs of the session.

“There are some concerns that we’re fully valued, but we’re of the thesis that markets will continue to grind higher until the end of the year,” said Jeff Zipper, managing director of investments at U.S. Bank Private Client Wealth Management. “Corporate earnings show that both the top line and the bottom line are coming in nicely, which justifies where we’re trading.”

The report is seen as crucial for the Federal Reserve as it decides whether to raise interest rates one more time this year. After a string of lackluster economic readings recently, investors are starting to doubt further monetary tightening is in the cards in the short term, especially absent signs of rising inflation. Those doubts have helped send the dollar sharply lower.

However, the buck was enjoying a bit of a resurgence, with the ICE U.S. Dollar DXY, +0.75%  a measure of the buck against a basket of a half-dozen currencies, up 0.7%.

“The number came in above consensus, but in the ballpark we were expecting, so we’re taking it in stride,” Zipper said. “There were no big surprises, and net-net, I think the Federal Reserve remains on track for one more interest rate hike this year after this.”

For the week, the Dow rose 1.2%, its second straight weekly rise, as well as its fourth positive week of the past five. The S&P rose 0.2% on the week, while the Nasdaq ended lower by 0.4%. The S&P is less than half a percentage point away from its own record, while the Nasdaq is less than 2 percentage points below its own.