On The Fly: Top stock stories for Wednesday
Stocks began the day with little fanfare and languished just above the flat line for the opening hours. As lunch time approached the buy programs came in and lifted the Dow and S&P to all-time highs. Also hitting a new all-time high was the Dow transport average, which technicians had been looking for to confirm the move of the industrial index. The market internals were very positive, with winners far ahead of losers. The pharmaceutical and biotech sectors were about the only ones that failed to take part in the rally after President-elect Trump commented "he didn't like what he sees with drug prices." ECONOMIC NEWS: In the U.S., the JOLTS report indicated that job openings fell 97,000 to 5.53M in October. EIA data showed that U.S. crude-oil stocks decreased by 2.39M barrels in the week ended December 2, which was a larger drawdown than forecast. In Asia, China's total FX reserves fell to $3.051T in November from $3.12T in October, which was below the $3.06T the Street was modeling. Also, in a surprise move, the Reserve Bank of India left rates unchanged at its meeting. The RBI was expected to cut rates at least 25bp, and potentially 50bp. COMPANY NEWS: Time magazine announced today that Donald Trump has been named its Person of the Year for 2016. Speaking with the publication on November 28 at Trump Tower, the President-elect talked about the drug industry, suggesting that some stock analysts may have misinterpreted his intentions and vowed that he is "going to bring down drug prices." Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Merck (MRK), Eli Lilly (LLY), Novartis (NVS), Pfizer (PFE), Celgene (CELG), Biogen (BIIB) and Amgen (AMGN) are among the stocks that ended the trading day lower following the release of Time's interview... Also lower were shares of generic drugmaker Mylan (MYL), which was weighed on by not only Trump's declaration but also the company's announcement of a restructuring program, under which it will cut less than 10% of its global workforce. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Dave & Buster's (PLAY), which advanced nearly 19% after the chain of adult arcades and eateries beat earnings expectations. Also higher was Western Digital (WDC), which gained over 8% after the company raised its second quarter guidance and announced a new patent royalty deal with Samsung (SSNLF). Additionally, Square (SQ) rose more than 6% after CEO Jack Dorsey announced at the Code Commerce event that the Square Cash service will integrate its "virtual debit card" feature with Apple (AAPL) Pay. Among the noteworthy losers was Alere (ALR), which dropped 8% after Abbott (ABT) announced that it has filed a complaint to terminate its proposed acquisition of the company based on the substantial loss in Alere's value since the time of their merger agreement. Also lower was Vera Bradley (VRA), which fell 13% following downbeat third quarter earnings per share and revenue and worse than expected guidance. INDEXES: The Dow rose 297.84, or 1.55%, to 19,549.62, the Nasdaq gained 60.76, or 1.14%, to 5,393.76, and the S&P 500 advanced 29.12, or 1.32%, to 2,241.35.