The Dow Jones Industrial Average recouped most of Wednesday’s losses and closed in the green as favorable corporate earnings and measures by the European Central Bank to maintain its accommodative monetary policy drove the blue chip index back to 23,400 at the close.
Nearly all eleven sectors of the S&P 500 were higher with the exception of the healthcare sector which was weighed down by a selling frenzy in biotech, leaving the Nasdaq Composite in the red and the S&P 500 only fractionally higher.
Upbeat results from Twitter ( TWTR ) and Ford ( F ) set in motion a reversal of Wednesday’s action and put the Dow on track for its eighth positive day in 10 sessions. The buoyant tone was amplified after the European Central Bank laid out its plans to extend asset purchases through September 2018 and ECB head Mario Draghi’s pledge to keep accommodation in place until after QE ends.
Trading became more problematic after Politico reported that Kevin Warsh and Fed Chair Janet Yellen pulled out of the race for Fed chief, and again later in the day when the House voted to push forward tax reforms, albeit on a razor-thin margin.
The healthcare sector was crushed on Thursday by downbeat guidance from Celgene ( CELG ) –which hobbled the entire biotech sector — along with President Trump’s crusade against opiods and reports from a Kansas City newspaper than Amazon ( AMZN ) is quietly acquiring pharmacy licenses in 12 states.
In economic news, the number of individuals filing for first time unemployment claims increased 10,000 to 233,000, slightly below 235,000 expectations.
The trade deficit in goods widened to an as-expected $64.1 billion in September from a revised $63.3 billion, while pending home sales were unchanged in September, missing forecasts for a 0.4% increase.
Here’s where the markets stood at the close:
Dow Jones Industrial Index was up 71.40 points (+0.31%)
S&P 500 was up 3.25 points (+0.13%)
Nasdaq Composite Index was down 7.12 points (-0.11%)
FTSE 100 was up 0.53%
Nikkei 225 was up 0.15%
Hang Seng Index was down 0.36%
Shanghai China Composite Index was up 0.31%
(+) BWLD (+19.57%) Q3 earnings tops expectations, issues upbeat FY adjusted EPS
(+) TWTR (+18.49%) Reported better-than-expected Q3 EPS and revenue
(+) TREE (+15.33%) Beats Q3 expectations, issues guidance above street estimates
(-) IDRA (-27.41%) Priced 33 million shares of common stock at $1.50 per share
(-) INSY (-22.64%) US Justice Department charges founder and ex-executives with racketeering
(-) NOK (-21.26%) Q3 sales missed forecasts, warned of weaker networks market in 2018
(-) UCTT (-21.02%) Missed Q3 earnings estimates
(-) CELG (-16.37%) Q3 sales lagged expectations, sets FY guidance at lower end of range
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Close Update: Dow Resumes Uptrade; Healthcare Hobbled By Amazon, War on Drugs, Biotech