Dow Signals Triple-Digit Rally as Tax Bill Optimism Rises

The Senate is expected to vote on the GOP tax plan as early as tomorrow

Dec 18, 2017 at 9:04 AM
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Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) futures are trading well above fair value this morning, signaling fresh record highs, as stocks look ready to rally. The same is true for S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq-100 Index (NDX) futures, thanks to growing optimism around a Republican tax plan that's now expected to be voted into law this week. On the economic front, investors will digest the NAHB housing market index, which kicks off a week filled with housing data. Also adding to the risk-on mood is a flurry of M&A activity, led by a pair of snack companies.

Continue reading for more on today's market, including:

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5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 1.2 million call contracts traded on Friday, compared to 688,259 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio declined to 0.57, while the 21-day moving average moved down to 0.58.
  2. Analysts may finally be taking note of Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) stock's recent push up the charts, as J.P. Morgan Securities this morning upgraded the stock to "overweight" from "neutral" and upped its price target to $27 from $20 -- territory not charted since late 2015. The brokerage firm is expecting a first-ever GAAP profit from the social media company in 2018, powered by strong daily active user growth. TWTR shares have gained 23.4% in the past three months, and are up 4.8% before the open.
  3. Shares of transportation giant CSX Corporation (NASDAQ:CSX) are set to fall again today, down 2.8% in pre-market trading, after CEO Hunter Harrison passed away due to complications to an unspecified illness.
  4. On the M&A front, struggling Campbell Soup Company (NYSE:CPB) is buying snack company Snyder's-Lance Inc (NASDAQ:LNCE) for $4.9 billion, or $50 per share. Plus, Hershey Co (NYSE:HSY) has announced it's buying Amplify Snack Brands Inc (NYSE:BETR) for $12 per share, or $1.6 billion. CPB stock is down 1.7% pre-market, while HSY shares are pointed 1.4% lower.
  5. The earnings calendar is bare today.

stock market news december 18

Overseas Trading

It was a mostly higher finish in Asia today, as bank stocks surged after the release of a final Republican tax bill in the U.S. In Tokyo, automakers got a lift after data showed exports rose more than expected last month -- sending the Nikkei up 1.6%. Elsewhere in the region, Hong Kong's Hang Seng jumped 0.7%, and China's Shanghai Composite added 0.07%. South Korea's Kospi, on the other hand, closed fractionally lower on pressure from steelmakers.

European stocks are surging at midday, as financial shares soar on hope the U.S. will pass business-friendly tax reform this week. Tech stocks are also on the rise, after French defense name Thales said it would buy chipmaker Gemalto for about $5.6 billion. At last check, the German DAX is up 1.5%, the French CAC 40 is 1.2% higher, and London's FTSE 100 is enjoying a 0.5% lead ahead of Prime Minister Theresa May's upcoming Brexit speech to parliament.



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