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S&P 500 Earnings Spark Advance; Stocks Add Gains After Fed| Investor’s Business Daily

A raft of positive reports for S&P 500 companies sparked gains in the stock market Wednesday, and stocks jumped to fresh session highs after the Fed announced no change in interest rates.




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The Federal Reserve’s policy statement suggested the Fed is tempering if not halting plans for more interest-rate hikes this year, saying it “will be patient” in deciding rate policy.

The Nasdaq composite climbed 1.8%, the S&P 500 1.3% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average 1.6%. Volume was tracking higher compared with the same time on Tuesday. Advancing stocks led decliners by a 7-to-2 ratio on the NYSE and by 2-to-1 on the Nasdaq. (For updates on this story and other market coverage, visit the Stock Market Today.)

Strong earnings for Dow components Boeing (BA), Apple (AAPL), Pfizer (PFE) and McDonald’s (MCD) fueled the Dow’s market-leading gains. Boeing alone contributed 175 points to the Dow’s 340-point increase. The stock broke out of a double-bottom base with a 373.80 buy point. It also topped a handle entry at 367.42.

Thanks partly to Apple’s post-earnings rally, the technology sector led Wednesday. Technology Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLK) was up nearly 2%.

The energy sector also was strong after the price of U.S. crude climbed 2.7% to $54.76 a barrel. Sanctions on Venezuela’s oil company raised supply worries, and U.S. inventories rose less than expected. Drilling, oil royalty, refinery and exploration & production industry groups were in Wednesday’s top 25. Coal and solar stocks also aided the sector’s rally.

Small Caps Lag In Stock Market Today

But small caps lagged, with the Russell 2000 up 0.4%. Consumer, technology and regional bank stocks had small gains or losses today, contributing to the small caps’ inferior performance.

Leading stocks kept pace with the broad market, with the Innovator IBD 50 ETF (FFTY) up 0.9%. A mix of software and health care companies gained 1% to 5% on the IBD 50.

CyberArk (CYBR) climbed more than 3% to a new high. The IBD Leaderboard member is extended from the 81.98 buy point of a handle in a choppy pattern. The relative strength line is moving bullishly.

MedPace Holdings (MEDP) led the IBD 50 with a 5% jump that took shares above a 62.23 buy point in heavy volume. ServiceNow (NOW) rose 3% ahead of its earnings report after the close today. Analysts expect earnings of 64 cents a share, up 83% from a year ago.

Although growth stocks are performing well this week, a number of real estate investment trusts continue to break out. Property REITs — a defensive investment because of high dividends — are in the top 35 of 197 industry groups.

Duke Realty (DRE), EastGroup Properties (EGP), Equity Commonwealth (EQC), MAA (MAA), National Health Investors (NHI) and Realty Income (O) were on today’s breakouts list.

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