U.S. Equities Set Records on Heaviest Volume So Far This Year

Oppenheimer Strategist Sees More Upside to Stock Rally

U.S. stocks advanced as investors embraced President Donald Trump’s cooler rhetoric in a speech to Congress that was short on details and after comments by Federal Reserve officials that signaled the central bank may increase borrowing costs as soon as this month.

The S&P 500 Index jumped 1.4 percent to a record 2,395.96 at 4 p.m. in New York, the biggest single-day advance since the election. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 303 points to 21,115 and small-cap shares in the Russell 2000 Index surged 1.9 percent. The Nasdaq Composite added 1.4 percent to a record.

About 8.2 billion shares traded hands Wednesday, the heaviest day of volume on U.S. exchanges since Dec. 16, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

  • S&P 500 up 12% since Nov. 8, most in that stretch after an election since Bill Clinton’s second victory in 1996 -- market added 13% over period of same length
  • Financial shares up 2.8%, for the biggest gain since Nov. 10; bank stocks in the S&P 500 surging 3.2% on gains in all 17 companies
  • Industrial stocks up 1.6% as energy companies rally 2.1%; materials shares up 1.8% as commodities gained for a second day
  • Lowe’s up 9.5% for biggest gain in market as Americans pour money into their homes
  • The odds of the Fed raising interest rates in March rose to 80% from 40% last Friday, based on Fed fund futures, pushing up the dollar and dragging Treasuries lower
  • Fed Bank of New York President William Dudley said the case for tightening has become more compelling, while Fed Bank of San Francisco President John Williams said he expects a rate increase to be seriously considered at this month’s meeting
  • VIX lost 2.9% to 12.5 
  • With the earnings season drawing to a close, about three-quarters of S&P 500 members that have reported thus far beat profit estimates and a little over half exceeded sales forecasts, according to data compiled by Bloomberg
  • ECONOMY:
    • Consumer spending rose less than projected in January as rising prices pinched Americans’ wallet
    • China’s official factory gauge strengthened in February as producer prices rebounded, spurring gains in metal prices. Stoxx 600 miners rose from their lowest level in three weeks
  • EARNINGS:
    • Pre-market Thursday: Kroger (KR), Sears Holdings (SHLD)
  • Stoxx Europe 600 Index added 1.4% at the close, as all 19 industry groups gained

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