Wall Street extended gains at the finish on Thursday wrapping up August on a positive note. A rally in biotechnology stocks and comments from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin that the tax agenda is still on track helped to cut losses for the month. Mnuchin in an interview with CNBC declared the tax reform was detailed and the plan brought to the American people by the president was about 'middle class tax cut and tax simplification'. When asked what was the best time line for producing the bill, Mnuchin responded, "We're on a track to get this done by the end of the year."
The Dow climbed 55 points to 21,948.10, S&P 500 was up 14 points to 2,471.65 and Nasdaq was up 60 points to 6,246.83. Ten out of 11 major industries were up. Telecommunications fell -0.51%. Individual stocks leading indexes were: Tiffany & Co up +4.28%, Biogen up +4.22%, BorgWarner up +3.64% and Cabot Oil & Gas Corp up +3.07%.
- Dow 21,948.10 +0.25%
- S&P 500 2,471.65 +0.57%
- Nasdaq 6,428.66 +0.95%
- Russell 2000 1405.25 +1.00%
- NYSE Composite 11,875.23 +0.59%
- Gold 1,327.2 +1.00%
- Oil WTI $47.10 +2.48%
- 10-Year Treasury 2.12 -0.01%
The power of Harvey felt more widespread: this time at the gas pumps across the US as closed refineries has disrupted fuel to pipelines to feed the eastern half of the country. Gasoline prices have gone up in some cities 11 cents a gallon. Delivery of gasoline, jet fuel and diesel are all interrupted. Two major oil supply systems, Colonial and Explorer send fuel from Houston through Chicago and to cities on the Eastern seaboard. However, there is hope that oil refineries will be up and running soon as so far damage like that under Hurricane Katrina in 2005 has not been reported. Meanwhile, French company Arkema's chemical plant in the Houston area, experienced multiple explosions on Thursday morning raising health and safety concerns.
Campbell Soup, mmm not so good: Campbell Soup plunged -8.06% after an earnings disappoint and after sales warning for fiscal 2018. Campbell Soup has is having difficulty dealing with factors such as modern consumer preferences for food and shopping behaviours. Other individual stocks under pressure in trading were Dollar General Corp down -5.50% and C.H. Robinson Worldwide -3.13%.
Lululemon steps ahead of athletic apparel wear: as shares climb on upbeat earnings report in late day trading up (after hours at 5:50 pm) +4.54%. The brand reported sales growth of 7% compared to the 4% analysts expected for the second quarter. The company is bucking the trend for downbeat earnings report from other sporting goods companies such as Finish Line which reported disappointing figures recently. Second quarter profit also beat expectations and was at 39 cents a share against a forecast of 35 cents a share by analysts.
Quote of the day: "It has become a cliché that many of Trump’s utterances are to be taken seriously but not literally. The consequence is that, more and more, executive-branch personnel are inverting that formula. For them he is literally the president, but not seriously." Ramesh Ponnuru, senior editor of National Review writing a Bloomberg view column