Stock Market News for Nov 17, 2021

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U.S. stocks closed higher on Tuesday following better-than-expected earnings reports from a slew of major retailers and impressive economic data. This helped them somewhat shed worries over rising inflation. All the three major indexes ended in positive territory.

– Zacks

How Did The Benchmarks Perform?

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) climbed 0.2% or 54.77 points to end at 36,142.22 points.

The S&P 500 rose 0.4% or 18.10 points to close at 4,700.90 points. Consumer discretionary and technology stocks were the biggest gainers. The Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR (XLY) increased 1.6%, while the Technology Select Sector SPDR (XLK) gained 1.1%. However, six of the 11 sectors of the benchmark index ended in negative territory.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq increased 0.8% or 120.01 points to finish at 15,973.86 points. Shares of Microsoft Corporation MSFT and Apple, Inc. AAPL gained 1% and 0.7%, respectively. Apple and Microsoft each carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) was down 0.73% to 16.37. A total of 10.53 billion shares were traded on Tuesday, lower than the last 20-session average of 11.02 billion. Decliners outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by a 1.22-to-1 ratio. On Nasdaq, a 1.14 -to-1 ratio favored declining issues.

Investors Shed Inflation Worries

Inflation worries have been denting investors’ confidence for quite some time not. This saw all the three major indexes getting stuck in a rut after hitting record highs last month. However, a solid earning season that has seen companies reporting impressive results have been somewhat lifting investors’ sentiment.

On Tuesday, a slew of big-box retailers reported their quarterly results. The Home Depot, Inc. HD was one of the biggest gainers after it reported solid quarterly results. Home Depot reported third-quarter fiscal 2021 earnings of $3.92, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3.41 per share. Shares of Home Depot rallied 5.7%.

Besides, shares of other retailers like Lowe’s Companies, Inc. LOW and Target Corporation TGT increased 4.2% and 1.2%, respectively. Both the companies are scheduled to report their quarterly results on Wednesday.

Also, technology stocks were big gainers. Investors also regained some lost confidence on Wednesday following the release of a slew of economic data that came in better than expected.

Economic Data

A major reason behind Tuesday’s rebound was the impressive economic data. The Census Bureau said, retail sales jumped 1.7% in October, beating analysts’ expectations of 1.5%. This follows a 0.8% rise in September. Excluding autos, sales grew 1.4% in October. 

In other economic report released on Wednesday, the Fed said that industrial production, which includes factory, mining and utility output, jumped an impressive 1.6% in October on a month-over-month basis. This also surpassed expectations of a 0.8% rise.

In a separate report, the National Association of Home Builders reported that homebuilder confidence rose 3 points to a reading of 83 in November, hitting a six-month high.

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