Stocks rise as U.S. and China officially sign "phase one" trade deal
Stocks were higher from the start of trading ahead of the U.S. and China's "phase one" trade deal official signing ceremony, which took place near noon. Against the backdrop of trade optimism, banks continued their earnings procession with two of the largest in the nation reporting quarterly results this morning.
ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., the Producer Prices Index gained 0.1% in December, with the core PPI reading also up 0.1%. The Empire State manufacturing index rose 1.5 points to 4.8 in January, which was better than expected.
TOP NEWS: Bank reporting season continued with Bank of America (BAC) and Goldman Sachs (GS) this morning's notable big names. BofA, which reported better than expected headline earnings but lower than expected revenue net of interest expense, has seen its shares drop 2% following its report. Meanwhile, Goldman shares are fractionally higher following a headline earnings miss that was influenced by the firm's net provisions for litigation and regulatory proceedings of $1.24B due to its ongoing 1MDB issues.
Shares of Target (TGT) have fallen 7.5% after the big box store reported November and December comparable store sales growth of 1.4% and lowered its Q4 sales guidance, blaming softer than expected performance in key holiday categories including Electronics, Toys and parts of its Home segment.
Elsewhere on the earnings front, UnitedHealth (UNH) shares are up 3% after the insurer posted better than expected headline earnings and guided to better than expected revenue in its new fiscal year.
MAJOR MOVERS: Among the noteworthy gainers was Community Health (CYH), which jumped 13% after issuing FY20 revenue and EBITDA guidance.
Also higher was Organigram (OGI), which surged 38% after reporting quarterly results.
Among the notable losers was Nektar Therapeutics (NKTR), which slid 17% after withdrawing its new drug application for oxycodegol and announcing it will make no further investment into the program following a FDA panel vote that did not support approval.
Also lower was PNC Financial (PNC), which fell 3% after reporting quarterly results.
INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was up 155.42, or 0.54%, to 29,095.09, the Nasdaq was up 42.28, or 0.46%, to 9,293.61, and the S&P 500 was up 12.68, or 0.39%, to 3,295.83.