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US Stock Market Overview – Stocks Rally, Led by Financials, Healthcare Bucks the Trend

David Becker

US stocks moved higher on Thursday,  after initially declining. Most of the trading session stocks were in the red. Prices rebounded into the close ahead of an earnings release form retail giant Amazon. Microsoft helped technology shares rebound during the daily session after reporting better than expected financial results on Wednesday. Amazon shares were up 10% after hours, which helped buoy the Nasdaq by 1% in the aftermarket. While the coronavirus continued to generate volatility, stocks in the US seemed to shrug off the epidemic. US Q4 GDP came in at 2.1% slightly more than the 2% expected. Initial jobless claims declined to show that the jobs market continues to remain robust. Sectors in the S&P 500 index were mixed, led higher by financials, healthcare bucked the trend.

US Growth Grew More than Expected

The commerce department reported on Thursday that the U.S. economy grew 2.1% in the Q4, closing out a year in which gross domestic product decelerated to its slowest pace in three years. The GDP increase matched the third quarter as the US economy grew 2.3%, year over year below the 2.9% increase from 2018 and the 2.4% gain in 2017. Continued gains in consumer spending drove the economy in the year’s final three months, though the rate of the increase came in at 1.8%, well below the 3.2% pace in the third quarter. For the full year, PCE rose 2.6%, off the 3% pace in 2018. Initial jobless claims declined by 7,000 to 216,000 for the week ending January 25. Unusually, new claims in the prior week were revised up by a large 12,000 to 223,000.

Coronavirus Generates Volatility

Since emerging less than a month ago in Wuhan, China, the coronavirus has infected more people than the 2003 SARS epidemic. The number of deaths continues to pile up and investors are wondering whether this will take its toll on global economic growth. The first human to human transmission of the coronavirus was reported in the US.

This article was originally posted on FX Empire

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