Wall Street was higher at the conclusion of Thursday’s regular trading session with benchmark indices pushing to new all-time highs after reassurances from incoming Chairwoman of the Federal Reserve Janet Yellen that the Central Bank’s fiscal stimulus program would need to remain in place as the US economy continues a very slow-paced recovery.
Yellen told a Senate confirmation hearing earlier in the day that “It’s important not to remove support, especially when the recovery is fragile and the tools available to monetary policy, should the economy falter, are limited given that short-term interest rates are at zero”.
The news helped advance the NASDAQ 0.18 percent for a closing total of 3,972.74 points, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 0.35 percent higher at 15,876.22 points, and the Standard & Poor’s 500 index finished off the day 0.48 percent higher at 1,790.62 points.
Thursday’s most significant economic data came from the Department of Labor, whose initial jobless claims report for last week showed a very slight decline from the to 339,000. Meanwhile, the Commerce Department reported that US exports had dropped for what is now a third consecutive month, while imports have hit their highest level in almost a year, inflating the nation’s trade deficit to $41.8 billion.
Matador Resources (MTDR) got a head start on oil & gas stocks, advancing nearly 10 percent to a 52-week high during the session after the company was upgraded to a “Strong Buy” by Zacks, before cooling off by the closing bell. Meanwhile, leading drug-maker Eli Lilly & Co. (LLY) gained one percent after announcing $700 million in new investmentsin its popular insulin products.
Despite the overall strong third-quarter earnings performance of companies that has been reflected by the current reporting season, two stocks dropped after missing analyst estimates.
Former tech giant Cisco Systems (CSCO) saw its shares go over the cliff by more than 10 percent after the previous evening’s release that showed a stark decline in quarterly revenue and garnering the company a pair of analyst downgrades. Brick-and-mortar home improvement giant Kohl’s Corp. (KSS) dropped almost as much, down over 8 percent after its income statement for the recently-ended period testified to misses on both top and bottom lines.
Meanwhile, things only got worse for casualty insurance company Tower Group International (TWGP) , a member of the Equities.com turnaround stock portfolio, who announced that its financial statements for 2011 and 2012 would have to be revised, sparking fears that the insurer’s losses are much worse than originally suggested.
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