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Stock Market News For Mar 12, 2019

Zacks Equity Research
Trade war tensions, geopolitical risks and the Fed's likely policy easing may boost low-volatility stocks and ETFs in the coming days.

Wall Street closed sharply higher on Monday, reversing a five-day losing streak, supported by strong showing from the technology sector. Moreover, Fed chair Jerome Powell given a firm message about the robustness of the U.S. economy. All three major stock indexes finished in the green.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) closed at 25,650.88, gaining 0.8% or 200.64 points. The S&P 500 Index (INX) increased 1.5% to close at 2,783.30. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite Index (IXIC) closed at 7,558.06, climbing 2% or 149.92 points. A total of 7.1 billion shares were traded on Monday, lower than the last 20-session average of 7.4 billion shares. Advancers outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 3.69-to-1 ratio. On the Nasdaq, advancers had an edge over decliners by 3.31-to-1 ratio.  The CBOE VIX decreased 10.7% to close at 14.33.      

How Did the Benchmarks Perform?

The Dow ended in positive territory after five trading sessions. Notably, 29 stocks of the 30-stocks blue-chip index finished in the green while one ended in the red. The S&P 500 also closed in the green. The Technology Select Sector SPDR (XLE) gained 2.2%.  Notably, all 11 sectors of the benchmark index closed in the green. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite finished in the green after five straight trading days buoyed by strong performance of technology stocks.

Stock Price of Boeing Plunges

Shares of The Boeing Co. BA plummeted 5.3% on Monday after an Ethiopian Airlines 737 Max 8 plane destroyed shortly after taking off from Addis Ababa. The incident took place on Mar 10. All 157 passengers who were on board died. This was the second incidence of a 737 Max 8 disaster after a plane operated by Indonesia’s Lion Air, crashed into the Java Sea shortly after takeoff, killing 189 people in October 2018.

Following these two major accidents, China grounded all 96 of its 737 Max 8 planes. Ethiopian Airlines also followed the same procedure. Consequently, the stock suffered its biggest single day decline in five months. Boeing carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Technology Sector Leads Market Gain

Despite Boeings stock crash, Wall Street not only recovered but also gained significantly buoyed by strong performance of large technology stocks.

Shares of Apple Inc. AAPL climbed 3.5% after Bank of America Merrill Lynch upgraded the stock to buy from neutral. The research firm stated that recent pullback of the stock represents a buying opportunity since the company has several powerful mobile gadgets in its staple.

Shares of NVIDIA Corp. NVDA and Mellanox Technologies Ltd. MLNX surged 7% and 7.8%, respectively following the announcement of a $6.8 billion merger.

Powell Remains Bullish on US Economy

On Mar 10, in an interview with “60 Minutes”, Fed chairman Jerome Powell said that the U.S. economy will continue to grow in 2019 albeit at a slower pace. Fundamentals of the US economy remain strong. Powell ruled out any concerns about a recession in the near future.

Economic Data

The Department of Commerce reported that retail sales grew 0.2% in January instead of remaining flat projection as estimated. However, December’s data was revised further downward to a decline of 1.6% from the earlier estimation of a decline of 1.2%. Auto dealers and gas stations reported a 2.4% and 2% decline in sales, respectively.

Stocks That Made Headline

Varian & Tata Trust Tie Up to Boost Radiotherapy in India

Varian Medical Systems Inc. VAR recently announced signing of a three-year agreement with Tata Trust. (Read More)

Genesee & Wyoming Stock Gains 9% Yesterday: Here's Why

Shares of Genesee & Wyoming GWR gained 9% to $87.53 on Mar 11, following reports that the company is looking at various options including selling itself either entirely or partly. (Read More)

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