U.S. Equities Hover Near Record as Financial Shares Advance

Will U.S. Equities Keep Making New Highs?

U.S. stocks were little changed, with benchmark indexes trading around all-time highs, as investors watched corporate earnings and economic reports to gauge whether the latest rally is justified.

EBay Inc. and Biogen Inc. jumped at least 2 percent after reporting earnings that beat analysts’ estimates. Toy makers slumped amid disappointing results at Mattel Inc. while McKesson Corp.’s comments on weaker drug pricing sparked declines in drug distributors.

The S&P 500 Index fell less than 0.1 percent to 2,296.68 at 4 p.m. in New York, after reaching record highs for two days in a row. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, which crossed above 20,000 for the first time Wednesday, advanced 0.2 percent to 20,100.63.


  • Seven of the 11 S&P 500 industry groups climbed, with financial stocks and industrial shares leading the gain
  • Industrial stocks in the S&P 500 posted a 0.3% advance and materials shares gained for a fifth straight session
  • Real estate shares ended lower after jumping as much as 0.6% in intraday trading
  • Health-care shares lost 0.7% for the seventh decline in eight sessions
  • Optimism over President Donald Trump’s pro-growth policy and better-than-expected corporate earnings have helped stocks break out of a month-long stasis
  • With economic data exceeding economists’ forecasts at the fastest rate in almost five years, investors will look to Friday’s measure of fourth-quarter gross domestic product for further signs of economic vitality
  • The CBOE Volatility Index slid 0.7% to 10.73 at 4 p.m., the lowest since July 2014
  • As the Dow marched beyond 20,000, the number of bearish options on an exchange-traded fund that tracks it also climbed, relative to bullish contracts; new positions that opened last week helped send the put-to-call ratio on the SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF Trust to its highest since October 2015
  • EARNINGS:
    • After-market Thursday: CR Bard(BCR), E*TRADE Financial (ETFC), Arthur J Gallagher (AJG), Alphabet Inc (GOOGL), VMware (VMW), Intel Corp (INTC), Wynn Resorts (WYNN), Starbucks (SBUX), PayPal Holdings (PYPL), Microsoft (MSFT), Juniper Networks (JNPR), KLA-Tencor (KLAC), Robert Half International (RHI), Eastman Chemical (EMN)
    • Before-market Friday: Air Products & Chemicals (APD), Honeywell (HON), Chevron (CVX), American Group (AAL), Colgate-Palmolive (CL), AbbVie (ABBV), NextEra Energy (NEE), General Dynamics (GD), Franklin Resources (BEN), EnterpriseProducts Partners (EPD), Affiliated Managers Group (AMG)

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— With assistance by Lu Wang

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