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US close: Stocks rise on corporate earnings, debt ceiling chatter

By Josh White

Date: Thursday 18 May 2023

US close: Stocks rise on corporate earnings, debt ceiling chatter

(Sharecast News) - Wall Street's major indices all closed in positive territory on Thursday, buoyed by a strong round of corporate earnings and an influx of economic data.
Ongoing negotiations on the federal debt ceiling also remained in focus, with congressional Republicans and the White House reportedly inching closer to an agreement.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.34% to close at 33,535.91, and the S&P 500 gained 0.94% to close at 4,198.05.

Leading the day's growth was the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite, which jumped 1.51% to finish at 12,688.84.

In currency markets, the dollar was broadly in the green, last rising 0.65% on sterling to trade at 80.6p, while it gained 0.63% on the common currency to stand at 92.83 euro cents.

The yen also depreciated, with the greenback advancing 0.73% to change hands at JPY 138.68.

"US markets opened slightly lower after weekly jobless claims fell back, and Dallas Fed president Lori Logan said that she saw the data doesn't support the idea of a pause at the June meeting," said CMC Markets chief market analyst Michael Hewson.

"Furthermore, Walmart's first quarter numbers showed the US consumer is still holding up well, despite this week's mixed set of retail numbers from Target and TJX yesterday.

"US regional banks are also attempting to build on the rebound we saw from yesterday with PacWest outperforming, while Western Alliance is also looking to push higher."

Jobless claims fall more than expected last week

On the economic front, new figures released earlier showed a more significant drop in weekly jobless claims than was initially anticipated.

Data from the Department of Labor revealed that for the week ended 13 May, initial unemployment claims fell by 22,000 to a seasonally-adjusted 242,000, surpassing consensus predictions which had been set at a reading of 250,000.

The optimistic trend continued with the four-week moving average slipping by 1,000 to 244,250.

Secondary unemployment claims - those not being filed for the first time - decreased by 8,000 to 1.799 million, for the week that finished on 6 May.

Nancy Vanden Houten at Oxford Economics explained that the bulk of the decline in first-time claims was the result of a drop in Massachusetts, however, noting that fraudulent claims in that state had reportedly inflated figures over recent weeks.

"Apart from Massachusetts, initial claims have stabilised in recent weeks after drifting higher in the first quarter - a reminder that labour market conditions are still relatively tight," she said.

"While we expect the Fed to leave rates steady at its June meeting, a resumption of rate hikes can't be ruled out if labour market conditions don't ease more significantly."

Elsewhere, data pointed to the manufacturing sector slowdown lessening more than expected in the mid-Atlantic region in May.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia's regional factory index - a closely monitored indicator - showed a rise to -10.4, from -31.3 in April.

That surpassed economists' predictions, which Dow Jones Newswires reported as -20.0.

Subindex details painted a somewhat mixed picture, however, with the component for new orders improving to -8.9 from -22.7.

The subindex for prices paid by companies also increased to 10.9 from 8.2, but the employment subindex took a negative turn, dipping to -8.6 from -0.2.

Walmart gains on earnings, regional banks recovering

In equities, retail titan Walmart saw its stock rise 1.3% in the wake of the company raising its adjusted earnings per share outlook for the 2024 financial year.

The discounting giant said it now expected earnings per share to lie between $6.10 and $6.20, up from the previously predicted range of $5.90 to $6.05.

In the tech sector, Cisco Systems climbed 1.2% after the networking and hardware firm outperformed market expectations, delivering robust quarterly sales and profits.

Despite witnessing a decrease in order numbers, Cisco maintained its previous annual revenue target.

PacWest Bancorp jumped for a second day, rising 5.04% on the back of Wednesday's outstanding surge of over 20% as the recovery in regional bank shares continued.

Reporting by Josh White for Sharecast.com.

DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE +115.14 (+0.34%) 33,535.91

Intel Corporation
+2.81% $29.68
Salesforce Inc +1.88% $213.32
Nike +1.62% $118.87
Microsoft Corporation +1.44% $318.52
Apple Inc +1.37% $175.05
Walmart +1.3% $151.47
Caterpillar +1.24% $214.72
Cisco Systems +1.2% $48.20
Honeywell International +1.14% $198.25
Walt Disney Co +1.07% $93.76

Procter & Gamble
-1.64% $152.53
UnitedHealth Group -1.15% $479.23
Merck & Co -0.66% $114.00
Coca-Cola Company -0.55% $62.80
Amgen Inc -0.35% $224.23
Johnson & Johnson -0.32% $158.48
Walgreens Boots Alliance -0.32% $31.46
Goldman Sachs Group -0.18% $329.58
Verizon Communications -0.14% $36.13
Chevron Corporation -0.12% $154.01

S&P 500 +39.28 (+0.94%) 4,198.05

Take-Two Interactive Software
+11.69% $139.63
Bath & Body Works +10.73% $37.67
Netflix Inc +9.22% $371.29
Synopsys Inc +8.65% $409.71
Copart Inc +7.77% $88.37
Cadence Design Systems +6.22% $216.84
EQT Corporation +5.83% $36.84
Nvidia Corporation +4.97% $316.78
Capital One Financial Corporation +4.8% $99.23
Western Digital Corporation +4.76% $38.74

Target Corporation
-4.21% $154.18
Molina Healthcare -3.6% $284.83
Newmont Corporation -3.31% $43.27
Insulet Corporation -3.29% $302.87
Etsy Inc -2.74% $92.39
Cigna Group -2.56% $256.49
Conagra Brands -2.43% $35.80
T-Mobile US -2.4% $138.18
Centene Corporation -2.08% $65.80
American Tower Corporation -1.92% $191.03

NASDAQ COMPOSITE +188.27 (+1.51%) 12,688.84

Netflix Inc
+9.22% $371.29
Synopsys Inc +8.65% $409.71
Copart Inc +7.77% $88.37
Cadence Design Systems +6.22% $216.84
Nvidia Corporation +4.97% $316.78
Zscaler Inc +4.37% $123.96
Lam Research Corporation +4.29% $598.74
Micron Technology +4.08% $67.57
Advanced Micro Devices +4.03% $107.93
Workday Inc +4% $195.75

PDD Holdings
-7.3% $61.60
Baidu Inc -4.43% $124.74
JD.com Inc -4.12% $35.80
T-Mobile US -2.4% $138.18
NetEase Inc -1.28% $87.04
Palo Alto Networks -0.94% $189.72
Keuriig Dr Pepper -0.78% $31.87
Gilead Sciences -0.76% $78.21
AstraZeneca -0.66% $74.21
Vertex Pharmaceuticals -0.51% $339.46


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