Dow Sets New Record as Stocks Secure Seventh Weekly Gain

Equity Indexes Wrap: Solar Stocks Get a Boost from Analyst Comments; Health Care Lags Again

The stock market saw some interesting movements today, with solar stocks receiving a boost from positive analyst comments, while the health care sector continued to lag behind. Let’s take a closer look at the highlights:

Dow Soars with Boeing and Microsoft

The Dow index was led by Boeing (BA), which saw a 3.1% increase after UBS raised its price target on the company’s stock. Microsoft (MSFT) also performed well, rising 1.3% after Mizuho Securities raised its price target. Other tech stocks, including Intel (INTC) and Salesforce (CRM), also outperformed the index.

Verizon Falls as Telecom Stocks Decline

Verizon (VZ) was one of the laggards in the index, falling 1.3% alongside other telecom stocks. The Chamber of Commerce’s opposition to the reinstatement of net neutrality rules by the Federal Communications Commission contributed to this decline.

Health Care Stocks Underperform Again

The health care sector continued to underperform for the second day in a row. Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Merck (MRK), and UnitedHealth Group (UNH) all experienced losses.

Chevron Shares Decline

Chevron (CVX) saw a 0.4% drop in its shares as the company’s chief financial officer expressed disappointment in missing performance metrics.

The S&P 500 Highlights

The S&P 500 also had its share of interesting movements:

Solar Stocks Surge

First Solar (FSLR) experienced a 6.6% increase after being named a top solar stock by Jefferies. This positive sentiment also extended to Enphase Energy (ENPH) and Sunrun (RUN), which both saw gains.

Positive Outlook for Tech Giants

Oracle (ORCL) made up for earlier losses with a 3% gain, while Broadcom (AVGO) had its best week ever, gaining about 20%. Other tech giants, including Amazon (AMZN), Nvidia (NVDA), and Meta (META), also saw increases.

Stocks in Other Sectors Experience Declines

Ameren (AEE) and Zions Bancorp (ZION) both experienced losses after being downgraded by KeyBanc and Baird, respectively. Lennar (LEN) also saw a decline in its shares.

Nasdaq-100 Highlights

The Nasdaq-100 index had its own noteworthy movements: Leads the Index Higher (JD) experienced a 4.5% increase after receiving one-year loans from the Chinese government to stimulate economic recovery.

Costco Reports Strong Earnings

Costco (COST) reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings, resulting in a 4.5% increase in its shares.

Positive Ratings for Enphase Energy and CrowdStrike Holdings

Enphase Energy (ENPH) received a buy rating from Jefferies, leading to a 3.1% increase in its shares. CrowdStrike Holdings (CRWD) also saw a 2.9% increase after BMO Capital raised its price target for the cybersecurity company.

Lucid Group and Comcast Experience Declines

Lucid Group (LCID) saw a 7.2% decline, while Comcast (CMCSA) slipped 0.4% after joining the Chamber of Commerce in opposing the FCC’s net neutrality proposal.

Trading Interest Reaches Record High at ICE

The Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) reported that trading interest in futures and options markets on its platforms reached an all-time high this week. Open interest hit 86 million, surpassing the previous record. This surge in interest is attributed to increased activity in commodity and energy contracts.

Solar Stocks Receive Analyst Optimism

Solar stocks had a positive day as analysts expressed confidence in the sector’s future performance. Jefferies initiated coverage of several solar companies, including First Solar (FSLR), Enphase Energy (ENPH), and Sunrun (RUN), with buy ratings and positive price targets. The firm highlighted the companies’ exposure to utility-scale projects and strong financial positions as differentiating factors.

Costco Stock Reaches Record High on Strong Earnings

Costco (COST) reported fiscal first-quarter results that exceeded expectations, leading to a more than 4% increase in its shares. The retailer saw increased sales of groceries and other products, with memberships and membership fee revenue also experiencing growth.

Midday Movers

Several stocks experienced notable movements during the midday trading session:

Steel Dynamics Inc. (STLD)

Shares of the steel maker rose 6% after it forecasted higher-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings.

First Solar (FSLR)

Shares of the solar tech company rose 5% after Jefferies analysts initiated coverage with a positive rating, citing expectations for increased demand as interest rates decrease.

Costco Wholesale Corp. (COST)

Shares of the budget-friendly retailer gained 4% after its quarterly earnings report beat Wall Street estimates.

Ameren Corp. (AEE)

Shares fell 4% after KeyBanc downgraded the utility, citing the negative growth effects of a rejected rate increase proposal.

Elevance Health Inc. (ELV)

Shares of the health insurer fell more than 2% amid reports of potential bids for Cigna Group’s Medicare Advantage unit.

U.S. Business Activity Rises to Five-Month High

Business activity in the U.S. increased at its fastest pace in five months, according to preliminary data from S&P Global. The rise in the S&P Global Flash U.S. Composite PMI Index indicates a positive trend in the economy.

Read More of this Story at – 2023-12-15 21:41:21

Read More US Economic News

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.