Stocks opened in positive territory thanks to solid earnings reports from Boeing (BA) and Apple (AAPL). The two Dow members accounted for a large part of the opening move seen in the blue chip index, which was the day's best performing major average. The indexes moved in a narrow range for much of the day, but added to their early gains following the Fed’s decision to hold interest rates unchanged. While the steady rates were not a surprise, the Fed also changed the language in its accompanying statement to a more dovish tone and the averages ran higher, with the Dow crossing 25,000 for the first time since December 7 and the S&P being pulled out of correction territory.
ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., ADP reported private payrolls rose 213,000 in January, beating the consensus forecast. The NAR pending home sales index dropped another 2.2% to 99.0 in December, marking a third straight monthly decline.
In Fed news, the Federal Reserve kept its interest rate benchmark unchanged, adding that it will be "patient" when determining future rate adjustments. In public comments on the matter, chairman Jerome Powell said he sees the U.S. economy growing at a "solid pace" in 2019, though at a lower pace than in 2018. Powell added that the case for raising rates has "weakened somewhat" and that the recent price drop in oil will likely push inflation down. The central bank also issued a separate statement on its balance sheet normalization, stating that the FOMC "intends to continue to implement monetary policy in a regime in which an ample supply of reserves ensures that control over the level of the federal funds rate and other short-term interest rates is exercised primarily through the setting of the Federal Reserve's administered rates, and in which active management of the supply of reserves is not required."
COMPANY NEWS: Shares of Apple rose 7% following the company's report of better than expected earnings for the first quarter and revenue in line with its negative preannouncement.
Boeing reported better than expected core earnings and revenue in the fourth quarter and CEO Dennis Muilenburg said he expects "continued strong performance" in 2019, sending shares of the aircraft and defense giant up 6%.
AT&T (T) shares fell 4% after it posted earnings that matched consensus and revenues below expectations. The company added that it expects low single-digit adjusted EPS growth in FY19.
McDonald's (MCD) reported better than expected quarterly profits, powered by global comparable sales that increased 4.4%. McDonald's, which also raised its quarterly cash dividend 15% and said it continues to focus on improving operations of restaurants, saw its shares slip fractionally following the report.
Meanwhile, Fox Business' Charles Gasparino reported that Tesla (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk is expected to address the car maker's capital needs and $920M bond payment during the company's earnings call after the market close. Shares of Tesla were 4% higher ahead of the report, though the stock is slipping about 2% at time of writing in after-hours trading following the report.
MAJOR MOVERS: Among the noteworthy gainers was Conn's (CONN), which rose 8% after it was named to join the S&P 600. Also higher were AMD (AMD) and Anthem (ANTM), which gained a respective 20% and 9% after reporting quarterly results.
Among the notable losers was AC Immune (ACIU), which plunged 66% after reporting the discontinuation of the Phase 3 CREAD 1 and 2 studies of crenezumab. Also lower were 8x8, inc. (EGHT) and Amgen (AMGN), which fell 9% and 4%, respectively, after reporting quarterly results.
INDEXES: The Dow rose 434.90, or 1.77%, to 25,014.86, the Nasdaq gained 154.79, or 2.20%, to 7,183.08
, and the S&P 500 advanced 41.05, or 1.55%, to 2,681.05