U.S. stock markets closed sharply higher on Thursday after the Congress reached a temporary arrangement to avoid debt-ceiling standoff. Market participants were relieved of concerns of a possible government debt default and an impending economic recession this month. All three major stock indexes ended in green.
How Did The Benchmarks Perform?
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) surged 1% or 337.95 points to close at 34,754.94. Notably, 26 components of the 30-stock index ended in the green while 4 in red. Moreover, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite finished at 14,654.02, gaining 1.1% or 152.10 points due to strong performance by large-cap technology stocks.
Meanwhile, the S&P 500 increased 0.8% to end at 4,399.76. Ten out of eleven sectors of the benchmark index closed in positive territory and one in red. The Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR (XLY), the Health Care Select Sector SPDR (XLV) and the Materials Select Sector SPDR (XLB) gained 1.6%, 1.3% and 1.3%, respectively.
The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) was down 7% to 19.54. A total of 10.1 billion shares were traded on Thursday, lower than the last 20-session average of 11 billion. Advancers outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by a 2.50-to-1 ratio. On Nasdaq, a 2.49-to-1 ratio favored advancing issues.
Congressional Truce on Debt-Ceiling
On Oct 7 morning, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced that lawmakers have reached a temporary arrangement to increase U.S. government debt ceiling for the short-term. Schumer said “I have some good news. We have reached agreement to extend the debt ceiling through early December, and it’s our hope that we can get this done as soon as today.”
According to the agreement, the debt limit the debt limit will be increased to $480 billion, which will allow the Treasury Department to pay bills until Dec 3. The current U.S. government debt of about $28.4 trillion will increase to about $28.8 trillion per the temporary arrangement.
On Oct 6, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell offered a new proposal to the Democratic-run Senate as a stop-gap measure of suspension of the U.S. debt ceiling to avert a national default and a possible economic recession. President Joe Biden kept pressure on lawmakers to raise the U.S. borrowing limit.
Following the Congressional truce on debt-ceiling, Wall Street witnessed a broad-based rally. Tech bigwigs like NVIDIA Corp. NVDA and Advanced Micro Devices Inc. AMD rallied 1.8% and 2.7%, respectively. Dow components Visa Inc. V, NIKE Inc. NKE and The Home Depot Inc. HD gained 1.8%, 2.1% and 2.2%, respectively. Reopening stock Costco Wholesale Corp. COST rose 0.8%.
NVIDIA, Visa and Costco carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
The Department of Labor reported that weekly jobless claims decreased 38,000 to 326,000 for the week ended Oct 2. The consensus estimate was 347,000. Previous week’s data was revised upward to 364,000 from 362,000 reported earlier. Weekly jobless claims declined after three consecutive weeks of increase. Continuing claims (those who have already received benefits) dropped 97,000 to 2.71 million for the week ended Sep 25.
The four-week moving average that smoothed out weekly fluctuations, however, edged-higher to 344,000, marking the lowest since March 2020. As of Sep 18, around 4.17 million people were reportedly receiving benefits through eight separate state or federal programs, marking a decrease of 854,638 from the previous week.
Stocks That Have Made Headline
Royal Dutch Shell plc (RDS.A) expects a negative impact to its third-quarter earnings and cash flows following disruptions in U.S. Gulf of Mexico production after Hurricane Ida swept through the region. (Read More)
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