Wall Street was choppy before closing mostly higher following solid earnings from the Tech sector — and more in Wednesday’s stock market recap.
The gains have the major indexes on the brink of setting another round of fresh all-time highs ahead of Friday’s key jobs report.
The Russell 2000 rose 0.4% after trading to a late-day high of 2,163.
The S&P 500 was up 0.1% with the intraday peak hitting 3,847.
The Dow also edged up 0.1% following the afternoon run to 30,793.
The Nasdaq slipped 0.02%, despite tagging a morning high of 13,723.
Energy and Communication Services were the strongest sectors with gains of 4.4% and 1.4%, respectively. Healthcare and Consumer Discretionary paced sector laggards after falling 0.8% and 0.6%.
Shares of GW Pharmaceuticals PLC (Nasdaq: GWPH) skyrocketed nearly 45% after Jazz Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: JAZZ) announced an agreement to acquire the company for $220 per share in cash and stock for a total consideration of $7.2 billion.
The acquisition highlights GW Pharmaceuticals’ focus on prescription cannabidiol, or CBD products.
Polo Ralph Lauren Inc. (NYSE: RL) will announce quarterly numbers ahead of Thursday’s opening bell. The company is expected to report a profit of $1.63 a share on revenue of $1.47 billion. The high estimate is at $2.16 a share with the low forecast at 84 cents a share. This would equate to a 63-cent beat or a 79-cent miss.
Over the past four quarters the company has beaten forecasts by 54 cents, missed by -10 and 28 cents, while topping estimates by 41 cents in the year-ago period. There are 21 analysts that cover the stock with one Buy rating, 19 Holds, and one Underperform recommendation.
The chart shows the stock recently holding its 50-day moving average and a better-than-expected quarter could get analysts off the sidelines.
From the global stock market recap, European markets were mixed.
The Belgium20 was up by 0.9% and Germany’s DAX 30 gained 0.7%. The Stoxx 600 added 0.3%. The UK’s FTSE 100 slipped 0.1% and France’s CAC 40 was down less than a point.
Asian markets closed higher despite news the private gauge of China’s services-sector activity dropped in January.
South Korea’s Kospi jumped 1.1% while Japan’s Nikkei gained 1%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.9% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng edged up 0.2%. China’s Shanghai declined 0.5%.
Caixin China services purchasing managers index fell to 52 in January from 56.3 in December. However, the index still stood above the 50-mark — separating expansion from contraction for the ninth-straight month.
MBA Mortgage Applications rose 8.1%, following the prior week’s -4.1% decline. Nearly all of the recovery was in the refinancing index, which jumped 11.4% after a pullback of -5%. The purchase index edged up 0.1% after falling -4% previously. The pace of activity slowed on a 12-month basis, with the application index dropping to 44% year-over-year versus the prior 56.8% pace, with refis at a 59.5% year-over-year rate compared to 83.4%. The 30-year fixed rate declined to 2.92% after inching up to 2.95% previously. The five-year ARM rose to 2.88% from 2.60% previously.
ADP Employment Report revealed private payrolls rebounded 174,000 in January, versus the 78,000 decline in December. Most of the recovery was in the service sector where employment increased by 156,000, with the goods sector adding 19,000 workers. Education/health jobs rose 54,000, with a 40,000 gain in professional/business services, while leisure/hospitality added 35,000. Trade/transport employment increased 16,000 and construction gained 18,000.
The iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (Nasdaq: TLT) fell for the second straight session following the pullback to $149.58. Prior and upper support at $150-$149.50 failed to hold. A close below the latter would signal additional weakness towards $148.50-$148 and levels from last March.
Lowered resistance is at $150.50-$151.
The iPath S&P Vix Short-Term Futures (NYSEArca: VIX) extended its losing streak to three sessions after closing on the session low of 22.91, back below the 50-day moving average. Prior and upper support at 23-22.50 were recovered. A move back below the latter would signal additional weakness towards 21.50-21.
Lowered resistance is at 24.50-25, followed by 27-27.50 and the 200-day moving average.
The SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSE: SPY) was up for the third straight session after trading to an intraday high of $383.70. Near-term and lower resistance at $383.50-$384 was cleared but held. A close above the latter would indicate a continued run towards $385-$385.50 with the current all-time peak at $385.85.
Rising support is at $380.50-$380.
RSI is showing signs of leveling out with lower resistance at 55-60 getting cleared and holding. A close above the latter would suggest additional strength towards 65-70. Support is at 50-45.
The iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (NYSE: EEM) extended its winning streak to three sessions after tagging an intraday peak of $55.95. Current and lower resistance at $55.50-$56 was reclaimed. A move above the latter would be an ongoing bullish signal for additional strength towards $56.50-$57 with the current all-time high at $56.54.
Support is at $55-$54.50.
RSI is in an uptrend with key resistance at 60 getting cleared and holding. Continued closes above this level would indicate strength towards 65-70. Support is at 55-50.
Check back after the closing bell for the most important news and numbers in the WealthPress stock market recap.