Banks doing well and stocks keep rallying - Here's what you need to know...

Stock Market Update Wednesday, January 16th, 2019

Although there have been quite a few warnings, we've had a pretty strong start to earnings season. And today it was bank earnings helping the major indices finish the day at 4-week highs.

The day began on a positive note, with the major indices higher at the open.

But after the positive start and a morning rally, stocks pulled back and traded sideways for the next 3 1/2 hours.

Then around 2:30pm ET, stocks rallied to session highs. It looked like stocks were ready to move, but a pullback in the last 30 minutes of the day erased a large portion of today's gains.

With today's rally, the S&P joined the DOW and NASDAQ in a move above their 50-day moving averages. The NASDAQ closed above its 50-day moving average yesterday, and the DOW managed to close above this key level today.

Although the S&P traded above the 50-day moving average for the first time since December 4th, the index wasn't able to close above this level. The 50-day moving average is a popular indicator for technical traders that is often used as support and resistance.

Here's where the major indices ended the day:

  • The S&P finished with a 0.2% gain. Up 6 points, the S&P ended at 2,616.
  • The DOW ended higher by 0.6%. Adding 142 points, the DOW closed at 24,207.
  • The NASDAQ was up 0.1%. With a 9 point gain, the NASDAQ finished at 7,033.
  • Bitcoin finished higher by 1.0%. Up $35, Bitcoin ended at $3,555.

Crude Oil (CL) finished higher for the 2nd day in a row. Up 0.3%, CL ended at $52.29 a barrel.

All eyes were on earnings today, and bank stocks did great.

Bank of America (BAC) beat expectations and finished higher by 7.2%. Goldman Sachs (GS) helped the DOW lead the major indices today, after jumping 9.5% on an earnings beat.

United Continental (UAL) was an earnings winner as well. The stock finished higher by 6.4% after better than expected numbers.

But an earnings warning sent Nordstrom (JWN) lower. The company said that full-year earnings are expected to be lower after weaker than expected holiday sales. The stock ended the day with a 4.8% loss but came back from a 8.9% deficit.

Here is the economic calendar for the week:

Real Time Economic Calendar provided by Investing.com.

This Stock Market Update was provided by Rockwell Trading Services LLC.

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