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Stock Market News For May 17, 2019

Zacks Equity Research
Shares of Walmart (WMT) have surged over 8% in the last month to help extend its solid 2019 gains, which have helped it easily outpace its industry's 8.9% average. Time to by Walmart stock?

Markets closed higher for the third session on the trot on Thursday. A streak of healthy corporate earnings and a deluge of better-than-expected economic reports boosted investor sentiment. This more than made up for the likely impact of Trump imposing fresh telecommunication sanctions on China’s Huawei. The three major benchmarks ended in the green.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) increased 0.8%, to close at 25,862.68. The S&P 500 increased 0.9% to close at 2,876.32. The tech-laden Nasdaq Composite Index closed at 7,898.05, gaining 1%. The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) decreased 1.2% to close at 16.24. Advancers outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by a 3.08-to-1 ratio. On Nasdaq, a 2.01-to-1 ratio favored advancing issues.

How Did the Benchmarks Perform?

The Dow amassed 214.7 points to close in the green. Gains for the 30-stock index were propelled by a rally in the shares of Walmart WMT and Cisco CSCO, which gained 1.4% and 6.7%, respectively after posting earnings beats. Both the stocks carry a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Walmart Inc. experienced its fifth consecutive earnings beat when it reported first-quarter fiscal 2020 results. The company’s adjusted earnings came in at $1.13 per share, way ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.02. (Read More)

Meanwhile, Cisco Systemsdelivered third-quarter fiscal 2019 non-GAAP earnings of 78 cents per share which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a penny. Further, the figure rose 18.2% from the year-ago quarter. (Read More)

The S&P 500 added 25.4 points to end in positive territory. The broader index rallied on the back of gains for the bank stocks after the 10-year Treasury yield increased more than 2.4%. All of the 11 major sectors of the S&P 500 ended in green, with financials stocks leading the advancers. The Financial Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLF) increased almost 1% on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the Nasdaq rallied 75.9 points to close in the green. Shares of Alphabet GOOGL and Netflix NFLX gained 1.2% each and supported gains for the Nasdaq.

Trump Declares Emergency Against Threat to U.S. Technology

The trade spat between the United States and China worsened on Wednesday. President Trump issued an executive order which bans telecom equipment from countries which he termed as “foreign adversaries.” The latest barrage that has been fired toward China targets Huawei Technologies which has been under the scanner lately.

Meanwhile, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin indicated on Wednesday that a trade deal with China might still take place. He stated that officials from the United States would “most likely” meet with trade delegates from China again in Beijing after the latest round of tariffs that each country slapped on the other this week.

Moreover, a spokesperson from China’s commerce ministry stated that China criticizes the imposition of unilateral sanctions that other countries impose on Chinese companies. He also stated that the United States should refrain from taking actions which impacts relations between the countries.

Economic Data

Per the latest joint report from the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, housing starts and building permits for April came in at 1.24 million and 1.3 million units, respectively.

Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Fed index came in at 16.6 in May, up from 8.5 it had hit in the previous month. This is the metric’s highest settlement in the past four months.

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