The stock market gained Thursday, adding to its big two-day rally. Indexes were at session highs as they strengthened in afternoon trading.
The S&P 500 gained 0.5%. The Nasdaq composite climbed 0.3%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.5%. The small cap Russell 2000 index gained 1%.
Volume fell on the NYSE and Nasdaq compared with the same time on Wednesday.
A day after the Federal Reserve announced a new rising interest-0rate regime, Treasurys dipped slightly and oil prices soared. The 10-year U.S. Treasury yield ticked down to 2.16% Thursday by early afternoon, after ending Wednesday at 2.18%, its highest point since July 2019. U.S. oil prices rebounded Thursday, with West Texas Intermediate crude jumping 8% past $102 a barrel.
U.S. Stock Market Today Overview
|Last Update: 1:14 PM ET 3/17/2022|
Retailers Rise After Earnings Reports
Dollar General (DG) climbed 3% after the discount chain met profit estimates with earnings of $2.57 a share and revenue of $8.7 billion. Same-store sales fell 1.4%, below views. The stock is forming a cup base with a 240.24 buy point.
Williams-Sonoma (WSM) leapt 4% despite a mixed holiday-quarter report. Earnings of $5.41 a share beat expectations, but sales of $2.5 billion missed estimates. Williams-Sonoma also raised its quarterly dividend by 10%, to 78 cents a share, and raised its stock buyback to $1.5 billion from $700 million remaining in a prior program.
In tech stocks, Switch (SWCH), a data center provider, broke out of a cup-with-handle base in heavy trading. Shares are in buy range from the 27.85 buy point to 29.24. The relative strength line is near highs.
Accenture (ACN) on Thursday reported fiscal second-quarter earnings and revenue that topped estimates. Company guidance for the current quarter came in above expectations amid its acquisition spree. Accenture stock rose briefly above its 50-day and 200-day moving averages, but then retreated and was down 1% by early afternoon.
Accenture earnings for the quarter ended Feb. 28 rose 14% to $2.54. Including acquisitions, the global tech consulting and services company said revenue rose 24% to $15 billion. Analysts expected Accenture earnings of $2.37 a share on sales of $14.65 billion.
Oil And Some Metals Stocks Gain
Metals stocks jumped Thursday as the war raged in Ukraine, in spite of reports that progress is being made in peace talks between Russia and Ukraine. Earnings reports on several metals makers also came in on Thursday, providing mixed results. The S&P Materials ETF (XLB), which includes metals and mining, gained 1%.
Steel producer Steel Dynamics (STLD) guided Q1 EPS of $5.55-$5.59, above Wall Street’s estimates. Steel Dynamics gained 6%. Nucor (NUE) forecast Q1 EPS of $7.20-$7.30, below views. Nucor shares dipped 0.4%.
Commercial Metals (CMC) fell 1.1% after the company reported better-than-expected February-quarter earnings and revenue early today. The stock is extended after breaking out of a cuplike base with a 38.82 buy point on Feb. 28.
Cleveland-Cliffs (CLF) jumped 5% and extended past its buy range of 24.77-26.00.
Innovator IBD 50 ETF (FFTY) outperformed with a 1.7% increase led by energy, metal and agricultural stocks.
Oil stocks did well Thursday. Several oil companies, including EOG Resources (EOG), Continental Resources (COP), gained support above their 10-week lines. Shares of these three jumped more than 4% Thursday. The S&P Energy Select ETF (XLE) gained 3%.
Stock Market Takes In Housing Starts, Jobless Claims
In economic reports, housing starts jumped 6.8% in February to 1.769 million at an annualized rate. Economists expected 1.7 million, according to Econoday. The February number was the highest since the summer of 2006. Pandemic-related worker absenteeism eased, and January’s extreme cold spell ended, noted BMO Capital Markets economist Priscilla Thiagamoorthy, as IBD reported earlier today.
Building permits fell 1.9% to 1.859 million annualized, the first decline in five months.
“Despite a slew of headwinds, including rising material costs and supply shortages, we expect homebuilding to stay at healthy levels this year. Housing demand remains strong, even with higher mortgage rates, and construction activity is supported by a shortage of previously owned homes available in the resale market,” she added.
Jobless claims fell to 214,000 last week from 229,000. Economists expected 221,000 according to Econoday. The latest figure is below the 2019 average of 218,000 as the job market continues to tighten, Thiagamoorthy said.
Follow Michael Molinski on Twitter @IMmolinski
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