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Stock Market News for December 14, 2016

Benchmarks finished in positive territory on Tuesday ahead of Fed’s two-day policy meeting ending today. While the Dow increased to hit an all-time record for the seventh straight sessions, both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq also reached their best settlements ever. Trump induced rally continued to have a broad-based positive impact on key indexes with the blue-chip index closing less than 100 points short of the desired psychological level of 20,000.

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 0.6%, or 114.78 points, to close at 19,911.21. The S&P 500 rose 0.7% to close at 2,271.72. The tech-laden Nasdaq Composite Index closed at 5,463.83, gaining 1%. The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) advanced 0.6% to settle at 12.72. A total of around 7.4 billion shares were traded on Tuesday, almost in line with the last 20-session average. Advancers outpaced declining stocks on the NYSE. For 58% stocks that advanced, 40% declined.

What Pushed the Benchmarks Up?

Markets have rallied upward since Donald Trump’s surprise victory in the U.S. Presidential election and the rally has lost no steam even after a month. Expectations that Donald Trump will adopt new policies including, expansionary infrastructure spending, financial deregulation and tax cuts continued to have a positive impact on investor sentiment.

Also, in its two-day policy meeting ending today the Fed is expected to increase key interest rates. A rate hike will boost the financial sector and eventually the broader markets. Most of the key S&P 500 sectors registered gains yesterday.

Technology Select Sector SPDR (XLK) advanced 0.3% and was the best performer in the S&P 500 sectors. Some of its key components including Apple Inc. ( AAPL) and Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) rose 1.7% and 1.3%, respectively. Both the tech giants possess a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here .

Dow Close Near 20,000

The blue-chip index increased more than 100 points to reach near the psychological level of 20,000 and had a positive impact on investor sentiment. The index increased 13.6% year-to-date and more than 8% since the Nov 8 election results.

Stocks That Made Headlines

AB InBev to Sell SABMiller's Eastern Europe Assets

Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV (BUD) recently agreed to sell some of SABMiller’s eastern European businesses to Japan’s Asahi Group Holdings, Ltd. for $7.8 billion. ( Read More)

EQT Corp Sets 2017 Capital Expenditure Budget at $1.5B

EQT Corporation (EQT) recently came up with 2017 capital expenditure budget, which has been set at $1.5 billion. (Read More)

AT&T to Raise U-Verse Service Prices Again in January

AT&T Inc. (T) has announced a rate hike for a number of its programming packages like U-verse IPTV, DirecTV and Phone effective Jan 22, 2017. ( Read More)

Canadian Natural to Divest Stake in the Cold Lake Pipeline

Canadian Natural Resources Limited (CNQ) recently announced its decision to monetize its non-core ownership interest of in the Cold Lake Pipeline to Inter Pipeline Ltd. (Read More)

Viacom CBS Merger Proposal Cancelled; Stock Down

Viacom Inc.’s (VIAB) stock tanked following reports that its proposed merger with CBS Corp. (CBS) has been called off. (Read More)

Where Do Zacks' Investment Ideas Come From?

You are welcome to download the full, up-to-the-minute list of 220 Zacks Rank #1 "Strong Buy" stocks free of charge. There is no better place to start your own stock search. Plus you can access the full list of must-avoid Zacks Rank #5 "Strong Sells" and other private research. See the stocks free >>


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APPLE INC (AAPL): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
MICROSOFT CORP (MSFT): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
ANHEUSER-BU ADR (BUD): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
EQT CORP (EQT): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
AT&T INC (T): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
CBS CORP (CBS): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
VIACOM INC-B (VIAB): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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