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Stock Market Today: Stock Indexes Stall, Steelmakers Jump; This State May Get Hurt By Tax Plan | Stock News & Stock Market Analysis

Stock indexes loitered above and below the day’s breakeven line midday Wednesday, as the Republican tax-cut bill headed toward a final procedural vote in the House.

XThe Dow Jones industrial average inched up 0.1%, while the S&P 500 edged up less than 0.1%. The Nasdaq stepped back 0.1%, but the small cap Russell 2000 rose 0.3%.

Volume in the stock market today was running slightly lower on the Nasdaq and lower on the NYSE compared to the same time Tuesday.

The tax legislation will lower the tax rate for corporations, which the stock market appears to favor. The question now is how much of the tax-cut package is already priced into the stock market.

Big money-center banks rose modestly midday Wednesday. JPMorgan Chase (JPM) advanced 1.1% in the first five minutes of trade and then retreated to a 0.3% gain. Wells Fargo (WFC) popped 1.2% and then reversed to a 0.2% gain.

Meanwhile, the steelmaker’s stock group appeared on track for a fourth consecutive gain.

Steel Dynamics (STLD) stabbed 3% higher in heavy volume. The stock cleared a long consolidation with a 39.85 buy point less than two weeks ago and is now too extended to buy. Steel Dynamics is expected to post 36% earnings growth when final 2017 numbers are in. But analysts expect growth to slow to 13% in 2018.

United States Steel (X) rumbled 1.5% higher in fast trade. The stock is working on a long consolidation and is 17% off its high. U.S. steel lost money in 2015-16, but analysts expect a profit of $1.76 per share this year and then a 36% increase to $2.40 in 2018.

Steel prices are expected to firm up as China’s anti-smog policy trims supplies. China earlier this year ordered steel plants to cut production from Nov. 15 through March 15.

Among IBD’s 197 industry groups, dairy and tobacco were among the day’s top losers. Weakness in defensive sectors is a good sign for bulls. The bulls want to see money flowing into aggressive instruments.

Economic News

The Mortgage Bankers Association’s applications fell 4.9% for the week. Existing home sales for November rolled in at 5.81 million, about 5% higher than expected and above the highest estimate in the range.

Homebuilder stocks rose modestly in midsession action.

Tax Plan Consequences

Wondering who will be the big losers under the Republican tax plan? Utah. The state is known for big families and big families will pay more under the Trump plan.

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