Tech Stocks, Netflix Power Wall Street's Gains

Hopes about a strong reporting season have helped divert attention from geopolitical and trade worries, which have roiled the markets in recent months.

“We’ve seen enough pessimism build up in investors as people are trying to look for the worst … things blowing up from a geopolitical perspective. Earnings so far have been good enough to help leave some of the pessimism that’s out there,” Delwiche said.

At 12:36 a.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.88 percent at 24,789.21. The S&P 500 rose 1 percent to 2,704.74 and the Nasdaq Composite gained 1.67 percent to 7,275.82.

Housing Construction

New private housing starts and permits authorized during the month, at a seasonally adjusted annual pace.

At their session highs, all three indexes were above their 50-day moving averages.

Data on Tuesday showed U.S. homebuilding increased more than expected in March amid a rebound in the construction of multi-family housing units. The PHLX housing index rose 1.12 percent.

Ten of 11 major S&P sectors were higher, led by the technology index’s 1.9 percent gain. The consumer discretionary index rose 1.64 percent, boosted by Netflix and Amazon, which gained 3.2 percent.

BofA Merrill Lynch’s April fund manager survey found the world’s biggest tech stocks were investors’ top pick for the third straight month despite mounting worries over regulation.

Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Alphabet — collectively known as the FAANG group — rose between 1.4 percent and 9.7 percent.

Goldman Sachs reversed course to drop 1.7 percent, mirroring other big U.S. banks, shares of which declined despite beating Wall Street’s profit expectations.

J&J fell 1.43 percent after the healthcare conglomerate raised its sales forecast for the year but kept its outlook for full-year profit unchanged.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE for a 2.74-to-1 ratio, and on the Nasdaq, for a 2.52-to-1 ratio.

(Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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Wall Street Rises as Chinese President Eases Trade Worries

Facebook shares added the most gains to the S&P 500, rising 4.5 percent after Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg began his testimony before Congress and took questions from lawmakers. It was the biggest one-day percentage gain for the stock in nearly two years.

The S. & P. 500 Index

Position of the S. & P. 500 index at 1-minute intervals on Tuesday.

Zuckerberg’s testimony aimed to strike a conciliatory tone in an attempt to blunt possible regulatory fallout from the privacy scandal engulfing his social network.

The energy index had the highest percentage gain among the S&P’s 11 major sectors, adding 3.3 percent as oil broke above $70 a barrel.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 428.9 points, or 1.79 percent, to 24,408, the S&P 500 gained 43.71 points, or 1.67 percent, to 2,656.87 and the Nasdaq Composite added 143.96 points, or 2.07 percent, to 7,094.30.

Only utilities and real estate, which are sensitive to interest rates, posted losses after U.S. producer prices rose more than expected in March, indicating that inflation is strengthening, which could push interest rates up further.

However, the increase in producer prices did not prompt broader concerns about future market performance.

“It’s not enough to offset better expectations about the overall economy,” said Kate Warne, investment strategist at Edward Jones in St. Louis.

U.S. stocks will face a major test in coming weeks as first-quarter earnings pour in. JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Wells Fargo will kick off the earnings season on Friday.

3-Month Treasury Bills

High rate at weekly auction.

Analysts expect quarterly profits for S&P 500 companies to rise 18.5 percent from a year ago, which would be the biggest gain in seven years, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Sprint Corp shares jumped 17.1 percent after reports that the company had restarted merger talks with T-Mobile US Inc. T-Mobile shares rose 5.7 percent.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 3.16-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 3.93-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted six new 52-week highs and one new low; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 53 new highs and 32 new lows.

Volume so far on U.S. exchanges was 7.14 billion shares, compared with the 7.33 billion-share average for the full session over the last 20 trading days.

(Additional reporting by Sweta Singh and Diptendu Lahiri in Bengaluru; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Jonathan Oatis)

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Wall Street Rises but Pares Gains Late After Report of FBI Raid

“Even if it ultimately ends up being nothing, the initial reaction is almost always negative in the market,” said Randy Frederick, vice president of trading and derivatives for Charles Schwab in Austin, Texas.

Investors are looking forward to the start of earnings season to provide a sustained lift to U.S. stocks, with big banks, such as JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Wells Fargo, set to report first-quarter results on Friday.

Analysts expect quarterly profits for S&P 500 companies to rise 18.5 percent from a year ago, which would be the biggest gain in seven years, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 46.34 points, or 0.19 percent, to 23,979.10, the S&P 500 gained 8.69 points, or 0.33 percent, to 2,613.16 and the Nasdaq Composite added 35.23 points, or 0.51 percent, to 6,950.34. AveXis Inc rose 81.6 percent after Swiss drugmaker Novartis offered to buy the gene therapy company for $8.7 billion.

3-Month Treasury Bills

High rate at weekly auction.

Merck shares rose 5.2 percent after the drugmaker’s blockbuster cancer drug, Keytruda, met the main study goal of helping previously untreated lung cancer patients live longer.

Shares of Leucadia National Corp jumped 11.6 percent after the company said it would sell most of its non-financial assets to focus on investment banking and advisory services.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.10-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.13-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

Volume on U.S. exchanges was 6.28 billion shares, compared to the 7.3 billion average for the full session over the last 20 trading days.

(Additional reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak in New York and Sweta Singh and Diptendu Lahiri in Bengaluru; editing by Nick Zieminski and G Crosse)

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Dow, S&P Climb for Third Day in a Row on Easing Trade Worries

Earnings forecasts have increased sharply since Congress approved sweeping changes to the U.S. tax law late last year, with first-quarter earnings growth expected to be the highest in seven years.

Balance of Trade

The deficit is the excess of imports over exports for goods and services. Amounts are rounded, in billions of dollars, seasonally adjusted.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 240.92 points, or 0.99 percent, to 24,505.22, the S&P 500 gained 18.15 points, or 0.69 percent, to 2,662.84 and the Nasdaq Composite added 34.45 points, or 0.49 percent, to 7,076.55.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the New York Stock Exchange by a ratio of 2.76 to 1, while it was the first day of more new 52-week highs on NYSE than 52-week lows since March 13.

On Wednesday, the Dow dropped more than 500 points after China and the United States imposed tariffs on each other’s products, but closed up 230 points after President Donald Trump’s top economic adviser Larry Kudlow said the administration was involved in a “negotiation” with China rather than a trade war.

Facebook, Amazon, Alphabet and Netflix – collectively known as the “FANG” group – were up between 0.3 percent and about 3 percent.

Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said the company had not seen “any meaningful impact” on usage or ad sales since the data privacy scandal.

Amazon rose 2.9 percent after being repeatedly hammered this week by Trump’s attacks on the online retailer.

About 6.4 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges. That compares with the 7.3 billion daily average for the past 20 trading days, according to Thomson Reuters data.

(Additional reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and James Dalgleish)

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U.S. Stocks Jump in Upbeat End to Tumultuous Quarter

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 254.69 points, or 1.07 percent, to close at 24,103.11, the S&P 500 gained 35.87 points, or 1.38 percent, to 2,640.87 and the Nasdaq Composite added 114.22 points, or 1.64 percent, to 7,063.45.

The S. & P. 500 Index

Position of the S. & P. 500 index at 1-minute intervals on Thursday.

Investors were unfazed by economic reports showing a slight increase in consumer spending and initial jobless claims dropping to a more than 45-year low.

Jobless Claims

Weekly number of people who have filed for unemployment benefits for the first time.

In other data, core personal consumption expenditures (PCE) rose by 1.6 percent year-on-year. The index, the Federal Reserve’s preferred measure of inflation, has been below the U.S. central bank’s 2 percent target since mid-2012. closed up 1.1 percent, recovering from a 4.6 percent drop after U.S. President Donald Trump criticized the online retailer via Twitter early Thursday, claiming without evidence that the company pays “little to no taxes to state & local governments.”

Stocks shot up earlier in the week as comments from officials in the United States and China suggested the world’s two largest economies would renegotiate tariffs and trade imbalances, averting a trade war.

But worries that retaliatory tariffs would harm the global economy led investors to cut equity exposure to a four-month low in March and reduce holdings of U.S. stocks to the lowest in nearly two years, according to a Reuters poll.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 3.66-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 2.23-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

Volume on U.S. exchanges was 7.49 billion shares, compared to the 7.29 billion average over the last 20 trading days.

(Reporting by Stephen Culp in New York; Additional reporting by Charles Mikolajczak; Editing by James Dalgleish)

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Nasdaq Trims Losses as Facebook, Microsoft Gain

At 12:41 p.m. ET (1641 GMT) the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 134.09 points, or 0.56 percent, helped by gains in financial shares.

The S&P 500 was up 9.84 points, or 0.37 percent and the Nasdaq Composite was down 4.18 points, or 0.06 percent, at 7,004.63.

Real Economic Growth

Annual rate of change in the gross domestic product, based on quarterly figures adjusted for inflation and seasonal fluctuations.

4th quarter revised

Change at annual rate

The main indexes are on track for their second straight month of losses, hurt by fears of a trade war between the United States and China as well as rising U.S. interest rates.

Comments from top officials of the two countries had given a sense that they would negotiate over President Donald Trump’s move to impose tariffs on Chinese goods.

However, China’s state-run Global Times reported on Wednesday that the country was expected to soon announce a list of retaliatory tariffs on U.S. exports.

Tesla dropped about 6 percent after the U.S. government said it would investigate a fatal crash and vehicle fire of a Model X in California.

Lululemon Athletica surged 11 percent after the Canadian athletic apparel maker posted a surprisingly strong fourth-quarter profit and forecast further growth in the first quarter.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,647 to 1,178. On the Nasdaq, 1,421 issues fell and 1,413 advanced.

(Reporting by Sruthi Shankar and additional reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)

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Wall Street Wavers After Strong Rally, Tech Stocks Struggle

But the sentiment has improved after reports that the countries were willing to renegotiate tariffs and trade imbalances.

At 13:00 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.67 percent at 24,365.61 and the S&P 500 rose 0.29 percent to 2,666.16.

The Nasdaq Composite fell 0.33 percent at 7,196.70.

5-Year Treasury Notes

High yields at auction.

Facebook dropped 2.3 percent as it continued to be weighed down by data privacy issues. The company faces an investigation by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to explain how it allowed data of 50 million users get into the hands of a political consultancy.

“Tech and FANG are still trying to figure out what the way forward is, and the market is dealing with the aftermath of a massive rally. It’s hard to maintain that kind of momentum,” said Michael Antonelli, managing director, institutional sales trading at Robert W. Baird in Milwaukee.

Another weak spot in the tech space was Nvidia, which fell 2.8 percent after the company temporarily suspended self-driving tests across the globe.

Tesla shares dropped nearly 4 percent after the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board opened a field investigation of a fatal Tesla crash and major vehicle fire near Mountain View, California, last week.

Twitter fell more than 7 percent after short-seller Citron Research said it was short on the stock, adding that the company was “most vulnerable” to privacy regulations.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE for a 1.38-to-1 ratio and for a 1.20-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

(Reporting by Sruthi Shankar and Sweta Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)

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Daily Report: Divergent Fortunes in Cloud Computing



If there is one conclusion to draw from the company earnings reported on Thursday, it is this: Cloud computing is a booming business.

This point was never much in doubt, but the numbers sure reinforced it. Amazon said that Amazon Web Services, its cloud computing platform, is growing rapidly and would soon be a $10 billion a year business. Microsoft, widely considered the runner-up in the cloud computing market, said its commercial cloud business was also going gangbusters and has a $9.4 billion annualized run rate.

The two companies calculate their cloud revenue in different ways, so apples-to-apples comparisons are a fool’s errand. Suffice it to say that the two have found a sweet and highly profitable spot.

That makes some other news on Thursday all the more interesting. Facebook said it planned to shut down Parse, a toolkit for mobile developers that was supposed to provide an inside track to the cloud computing business. Parse was bought in 2013, when Facebook was looking for more revenue. (That is no longer much of a problem.)

In the end, Mike Isaac and Quentin Hardy write, the costs of competing against the top cloud businesses would take more resources than Facebook wanted to supply.

Daily Report: The Mystery of Amazon’s Bookstores



Amazon is poised to expand its one Seattle bookstore into a chain of such stores. Or is it?

The rumor mill went into overdrive earlier this week when Sandeep Mathrani, chief executive of the mall properties company General Growth Properties, said on a conference call that Amazon was planning to open 300 to 400 physical bookstores. After his comments went viral — many people are eager to believe that Amazon is stretching its tentacles into all sorts of areas — Mr. Mathrani’s company issued a one-sentence statement late Wednesday afternoon to amend what he had said, noting his remarks were “not intended to represent Amazon’s plans.”

The backtracking immediately became the butt of jokes on social media, with numerous quips circulating on Twitter about the trustworthiness of mall company C.E.O.s. “I can’t believe a mall C.E.O. lied to us,” went one tweet. “What next, we find out they don’t have the real Santa?”

So what’s the truth of the matter?

While the scale of Amazon’s store expansion plans may not be as broad as Mr. Mathrani described, the Internet retailer is planning at least some modest growth in its number of bookstores, wrote Nick Wingfield. And according to Recode, that may just be the beginning of potential plans for other types of stores, too.

Amazon has not commented on any store plans. And if its unveiling of the Seattle bookstore last year is any guide to future behavior — the company said nothing about the retail space until the store was essentially open for business — the odds of Amazon disclosing its plans are slim.