Thursday, January 18, 2018
What to watch today
After Tuesday’s big intraday swing from record highs to the first red close for the S&P 500 in nine days, stocks staged a furious rally on Wednesday with each of the major equity indexes making record highs as the Dow gained more than 300 points. The Dow also closed above 26,000 for the first time after having crossed that milestone during the morning on Tuesday. The blue chip index was paced by Boeing (BA) and IBM (IBM), the latter of which reports earnings on Thursday after the bell. Also on the earnings calendar on Thursday will be Morgan Stanley (MS), Bank of New York Mellon (BK), and American Express (AXP).
On the economics side, the December report on building permits and housing starts, along with the weekly report on initial jobless claims, will cross the tape at 8:30 a.m. ET.
Investors will also be keeping an eye on bitcoin (BTC-USD) and other cryptocurrencies, which were deep in the red for much of the day on Wednesday but as of about 5:30 p.m. ET had recovered most of those losses and were pushing higher.
House heads for vote on stopgap funding plan: Temporary government funding runs out Jan. 19 and the House and Senate will have to pass a temporary extension to avoid a partial shutdown of the federal government. Democrats are demanding that spending legislation include a provision permanently shielding about 690,000 undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children from deportation. [Bloomberg]
Amazon Studios to cut back on indie films in programing shift: Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN), which has made waves in recent years buying art-house movies at the Sundance Film Festival, is heading to the prestigious event this week with a long-term change in the works: It plans to shift resources from independent films to more commercial projects, people familiar with the matter told Reuters. [Reuters]
Trump considers big ‘fine’ over China intellectual property theft: In an interview, President Donald Trump and his economic adviser Gary Cohn said China had forced U.S. companies to transfer their intellectual property to China as a cost of doing business there. The potential “fine” is the clearest indication yet that the Trump administration will take retaliatory trade action against China. [Reuters]
Cboe gets nod to challenge NYSE, Nasdaq for closing stock orders: The Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday approved a proposal from No. 2 U.S. stock exchange operator Cboe Global Markets Inc to compete for end-of-day orders for stocks listed on the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq Inc. The approval breaks what has effectively been a duopoly on the stock market close. [Reuters]
Exports, consumers drive China’s 6.9% growth in 2017: China’s economy gained steam in 2017, expanding at a 6.9% pace, in its first annual increase in seven years, according to data released Thursday that exceeded economists’ forecasts and the government’s target. [AP}
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