Earnings, China Deal Signing Guides Stocks to Fresh Highs

The U.S. and China made the "phase one" trade deal a reality

by Josh Selway

Published on Jan 17, 2020 at 3:35 PM

Stocks spent most of the week grinding to fresh highs, while investors monitored the first round of corporate earnings, headlined by the big banks. Of course, the real tailwind for equities came from the signing of the "phase one" U.S.-China trade deal, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) last seen pacing for a perfect week, set for a fifth straight win.

Wall Street Watches Data, Earnings

There was also some notable economic data this week that moved stocks. On the economic side of things, weekly jobless claims fell unexpectedly and home starts numbers were strong in December, while job openings in November disappointed. On the earnings front, numbers from the big banks were mostly solid, especially those delivered by Dow component JPMorgan Chase (JPM).

As for some of the bigger names that were in focus this past week, Twitter (TWTR) shares slipped on bearish analyst attention, while Netflix (NFLX) made noise by digging into the ice cream business ahead of next week's earnings release.

M&A Headlines, Penny Stocks in Focus

This past week was a major one for M&A-related headlines. For instance, buyout buzz had one education stock on traders' radar, and Gap (GPS) options were flying off the shelves thanks to its spinoff update. Some other big moves came from the penny stock space, while one gun manufacturer experienced a C-suite shakeup.

Signals to Watch Going Forward

We were monitoring a bunch of different bullish and bearish signals throughout the week, as well, so traders should pay attention to some of the stocks mentioned in recent articles. One name to potentially avoid is InVitae (NVTA), especially since short sellers are moving in on the healthcare name. For bullish traders, this red-hot video game stock could be a name that continues to move up the charts.

From a broader perspective, it's no secret that stocks have been moving higher quickly, and a recent post from Schaeffer's Senior Quantitative Analyst Rocky White examines how far the S&P 500 Index (SPX) has run above the 200-day moving average, and what that could mean going forward. Spoiler: the rally may not be over yet.


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