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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)

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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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