Market Wrap for Wednesday, January 23: Strong Earnings from IBM and Google Lead Markets Higher
The U.S. stock market added to recent gains on Wednesday on the back of strong earnings from two technology titans. A number of other companies also reported better than expected results, helping to stimulate risk appetite on Wall Street.
All three major averages climbed on the day, led by the Dow which was helped by a better than four percent post-earnings gain in IBM (NYSE: IBM). The Nasdaq was spurred by a 5.50 percent gain in Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) after the company released its quarterly results on Tuesday afternoon after the closing bell.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed around 67 points, or 0.49 percent, higher at 13,779.
The S&P 500 was the laggard on the day, but still managed a two point, or 0.15 percent gain, to close just below 1,495.
The Nasdaq added better than 10 points, or 0.33 percent, to finish the session at 3,153.67.
Crude oil was mixed on Wednesday. NYMEX crude futures, the U.S. benchmark, were last trading down around 1.16 percent to $95.57. Brent futures, conversely, had added 0.54 percent to $113.03 as the WTI/Brent spread tightened. Natural gas was close to unchanged at $3.56.
Precious metals were also mixed with gold falling and silver rising. COMEX gold futures were down 0.43 percent to $1,685.90 while silver futures had added 0.40 percent to $32.31. Copper was last trading down around 0.50 percent.
In the agricultural complex grains were lower with the exception of oats and canola. Corn had lost a little more than one percent while wheat traded down 0.58 percent late in the session. Soft commodities were higher across the board on Wednesday with sugar adding better than two percent.
Late in the session, the iShares Barclays 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (NYSE: TLT) had lost 0.07 percent to $120.19. Despite little movement in the TLT, yields were actually slightly lower across the curve.
Both the 2-Year and 5-Year yields fell by one basis point to 0.24 percent and 0.75 percent, respectively. The 10-Year Note yield lost two basis points to 1.83 percent while the 30-Year Bond yield was down by one basis point to 3.02 percent.
Late in Wednesday's trading session, the U.S. dollar was sitting around the flat-line. The PowerShares DB US Dollar Index Bullish ETF (NYSE: UUP), which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of foreign currencies, was unchanged. At last check, the EUR/USD pair was down 0.05 percent to $1.3320.
The USD/JPY, which has been active in recent days, was down 0.08 percent to 88.670. The only other significant mover on the session was the USD/CAD which was trading up 0.75 percent at last check.
Volatility and Volume
The VIX recorded a small gain for the second day in a row despite a higher market. The widely watched fear barometer, however, continues to trade near 52-week lows. The VIX closed the session up 0.48 percent at 12.49.
Volume remains very light on Wall Street. On Wednesday only 75.5 million SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSE: SPY) shares traded hands compared to a 3-month daily average of 139 million.
With earnings season kicking into high gear, most of the major movers were earnings related.
Google climbed a little less than six percent on the session after posting strong results after the close on Tuesday.
IBM helped push the Dow higher with a roughly 4.50 percent gain on the session after its earnings.
Cree (NASDAQ: CREE) surged around 22 percent on Wednesday after the company's results surprised to the upside.
Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE: AMD) jumped over 11 percent after earnings.
Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ: ISRG), which released its quarterly results after the close on Tuesday, surged more than 9 percent on the session.
Shares of KB Home (NYSE: KBH) made a big intra-day move after being upgraded at Raymond James. The stock finished up around nine percent on the session.
Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) surged a little less than six percent ahead of its quarterly results which were due out after the bell.
Shares of luxury retailer Coach (NYSE: COH) swan-dived on disappointing results. The stock closed down more than 16 percent.
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