Stocks Push Higher After Tax Plan, Fed Decision

Apple's market cap surpassed a major milestone and Tesla shares sold off

Nov 3, 2017 at 2:51 PM
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Despite plenty of noise and news rolling out of Washington D.C. throughout the week, U.S. stocks managed to push higher once again, with all three major indexes hitting record highs. Investor attention mostly centered on the release of the Republican tax plan, which aims to permanently cut the corporate tax rate to 20% -- though another provision sent homebuilder stocks tumbling on Thursday. Also out of the nation's capital came President Donald Trump's anointment of Jerome Powell as the next Fed chair, an announcement that came just a day after the central bank decided to keep interest rates unchanged -- a move that could keep stocks moving higher.

Stocks Overcome Political Uncertainty

It was actually a rocky start to the week for U.S. benchmarks, after former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort was indicted on conspiracy charges. Stocks quickly bounced back, though, closing out their best month since February, marking a seventh straight monthly gain for the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) and S&P 500 Index (SPX). The Nasdaq Composite (COMP) wasn't left behind, benefiting from another big week from semiconductor stocks. Overall, the Dow and Nasdaq are set to end the week higher, while the SPX is fighting for breakeven as of this writing.

Apple, Tesla Headline Wild Week of Earnings

This week's earnings slate featured some of Wall Street's biggest names. Most notably, Apple (AAPL) topped earnings expectations and closed in on the $900 billion market cap in the process. Fellow tech giant Facebook (FB) also beat earnings estimates, but a profit warning from CEO Mark Zuckerberg weighed on the shares -- not to mention headlines related to the company's congressional testimony over Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Chinese e-commerce concern Alibaba (BABA) touched record highs after delivering a record-breaking quarter ahead of Singles Day, and rival could be the next to burn options bears. It's not all rosy among e-commerce stocks, as Wayfair short sellers enjoyed a huge selloff. As for some other earnings winners, Activision Blizzard, bluebird bio, and Garmin all impressed with their quarterly results.

Headlining the week's earnings losers was Tesla (TSLA), after the company reported its largest-ever quarterly loss, rewarding bearish options traders. Another stock that got crushed after earnings was Under Armour (UAA), which dragged down its sector peers as a result. And today, Tableau Software (DATA) is selling off on a top- and bottom-line miss.

Merck, General Electric Get Crushed

There were plenty of notable moves among healthcare stocks, too. Mylan again found itself in an unfavorable situation, while Endo International and Adamas Pharmaceuticals both surged after earnings. Centene (CNC) could be the next big winner, based on its stock chart. The real development from this group was a huge bear gap from Dow component Merck, after the company pulled its European marketing application for Keytruda.

Merck certainly wasn't the only blue chip to struggle, however, as put traders were lining up for General Electric stock as it endures its biggest losing streak in 40 years. On the other hand, these Dow stocks could be flashing a "buy" signal

Earnings Season Continues with NVDA, VRX

With earnings season ready to roll on next week, bulls may also want to keep an eye on Weight Watchers stock, with the company set to report after the close on Monday. On the flip side, TripAdvisor stock may be a name to avoid. Plus, Wall Street favorites Nvidia and Valeant Pharmaceuticals will both release earnings. No matter what you do, though, remember history suggests the current bull market could have a ways to run.


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