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Stock Market News for February 16, 2017

Zacks Equity Research

Benchmarks hit record highs for the fifth successive session Wednesday, creating the longest such stretch of gains for all three major indices since last January. President Trump’s promises of a “massive” tax plan in the near future continued to boost indices to record highs over another session. The new administration’s pledge to undertake significant deregulation and announce tax reforms have helped to spur investors over several weeks now. Additionally, positive data on retail sales and consumer prices underlined the confidence in the economy which has been lifted by strong fourth quarter earnings.

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 0.5%, to close at 20,611.86. The S&P 500 also gained 0.5% to close at 2,349.25. The tech-laden Nasdaq Composite Index closed at 5,819.44, gaining 0.6%. The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) increased 12.5% to settle at 12.08. A total of around 3.5 million shares were traded on the NYSE on Wednesday. Advancers outpaced declining stocks on the NYSE. For 50% stocks that advanced, 46% advanced.

What Boosted The Benchmarks?

Wall Street pushed further into record territory mostly due to the ongoing optimism that Trump will cut corporate taxes. His plans to revive a ‘phenomenal’ tax cut plan revitalized expectations of a pro-growth agenda that took a backseat amid contentious immigration ban and protectionist trade rules.

Financial stocks, which benefit from higher rates, rose 0.85 percent. The utilities and real estate sectors, both of which do worse in high-rate environments, fell 0.45 percent and 0.16 percent respectively.

Procter & Gamble’s shares ( PG) jumped 3.7 percent to a two-year high of $91.10, giving the biggest boost to the Dow and the S&P, after Trian Fund disclosed a stake, which could pressure the company to slice costs and slow-growing divisions. The company possesses a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here .

Following a much bigger gain in December, retail sales rose 0.4% last month, ahead of the consensus estimate of a gain of 0.1%. Excluding autos and gasoline, retail sales rose a robust 0.7%, according to the Commerce Department. It seems higher consumer confidence since the election boosted Americans to spend more.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that CPI and core-CPI gained 0.6% and 0.3%, respectively, last month, both of which exceeded consensus estimates. Additionally, CPI increased 2.5% over the last 12 months, recording the highest gain since March 2012.

However, industrial production declined by 0.3% in January, compared to a consensus estimate of a 0.1% decrease. Also, capacity utilization fell from 75.6% in December to 75.3%.

Stocks That Made Headlines

Charter Communications Tops Q4 Earnings & Revenues

Charter Communications Inc. ( CHTR) reported strong financial results in fourth-quarter 2016, wherein both the top line and bottom line surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimates. ( Read More )

Marathon Oil Q4 Loss Narrower than Expected

Marathon Oil Corp. (MRO ) posted fourth quarter adjusted loss per share, narrower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate. ( Read More )

Marriott Tops on Q4 Earnings, Revenues; Gives '17 View

Marriott International Inc. ( MAR) posted better-than-expected fourth-quarter 2016 results with both earnings and revenues surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate. ( Read More )

CBS Corp. Misses Q4 Earnings & Revenue Estimates

CBS Corporation (CBS) has entered into a deal with Entercom to merge its radio business, reported fourth-quarter 2016 results. ( Read More )

Kraft Heinz Tops Q4 Earnings, Weak Sales Hit Stock

Kraft Heinz Company ( KHC) posted fourth-quarter 2016 results wherein earnings and revenues beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate. ( Read More )

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