The First Slice for Friday, November 19, 2021

(MarketWatch) — U.S. stock indexes closed mostly at records in a choppy Thursday session, buoyed by upbeat earnings from chip company Nvidia Inc. and major retailers, while concerns about a seasonal rise in COVID-19 cases were seen capping gains.

It wasn’t all good news on the earnings front, however, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average weighed down by a steep loss for Cisco Systems Inc.

  • The Dow down -60.10 or -0.17%
  • The S&P 500 rose +15.87 or +0.34%
  • The Nasdaq climbed +72.14 or +0.45%

Stocks drifted between small gains and losses into the midday, before firming up in the afternoon and into the close. Analysts said concerns over a renewed rise in COVID-19 cases in Europe weighed on the market.

Germany has seen the highest number of daily cases seen over the course of the pandemic, while other countries have weighed renewed lockdown measures. U.S. cases continue to average more than 88,000 a day, and more than 48,000 people were hospitalized. Michigan and Minnesota lead the U.S. by new cases as measured on a per capita basis.

A strong quarter from graphics chip maker Nvidia Corp. which reported a 50% jump in revenue late Wednesday, helped to buoy sentiment. Shares closed up 8.3%.

Corporate earnings have beaten Wall Street estimates in the third quarter, as strong demand has helped to offset the pressure from supply-chain disruptions.

In U.S. economic data, new filings for jobless benefits slipped by 1,000 to 268,000 in the seven days ended Nov. 13, the government said. Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal had estimated initial jobless claims would total a seasonally adjusted 260,000.

The Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank’s manufacturing index jumped in November to 39 from 23.8. While the Conference Board’s Leading Economic Index jumped 0.9% in October and pointed toward a pickup in growth toward the end of 2021.

New York Federal Reserve President John Williams on Wednesday defended the central bank’s new inflation-targeting strategy from critics who say it is holding the central bank from taking obvious moves to bring cool prices.

Chicago Fed President Charles Evans said late Wednesday that the disruptions have lasted longer than he anticipated, though he still expects the central bank to end its bond-buying program in the middle of 2022 as currently planned.

  • Shares of Macy’s Inc. jumped 21.2% after reporting third-quarter results that soared past expectations, while Kohl’s Corp. shares advanced 10.6% after beating forecasts.
  • Shares of Cisco fell 5.5% after delivering disappointing guidance.
  • Deere & Co. shares rose 1% after it reached a new agreement with workers and a strike since Oct. 14 was called off.
  • Reports that Apple Inc. is attempting to ramp up its car-development plans and focusing on self-driving functions sent shares up 2.9%
  • Oil futures bounced higher, with the U.S. benchmark up 0.8% to settle at $79.01 a barrel.
  • Gold futures fell 0.5% to settle at $1,861.40.

Full Loaf Hot LinkOriginal Article By: Thornton McEnery

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