Stock Market News for Apr 22, 2021

Zacks Equity Research
·4 min read

U.S. stock markets closed higher on Wednesday with economically sensitive stocks driving the rally on rebounding optimism about an economic recovery. Moreover, investors’ sentiment was buoyed by several better-than-expected corporate earnings. All the three major stock indexes closed the day in green.

How Did The Benchmarks Perform?

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) rose 0.9%, or 316.01 points, closing at 34,137.31, reversing its losses from the previous two sessions. Notably, 26 components of the 30-stock index ended in green while 4 finished the day in red. Moreover, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite closed the day at 13,950.22, up 1.2%, or 163.95 points, snapping its two-day losing streak, on the back of strong performance by large-cap technology stocks.

Meanwhile, the S&P 500 gained 0.9%, closing the day at 4,173.42 points, reversing its two-session losing streak. The Materials Select Sector SPDR (XLB) and the Financials Select Sector SPDR (XLF) gained 1.8% and 1.4%, respectively. Notably, ten out of eleven sectors of the benchmark index closed in the positive zone and one in the red.

The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) was down 6.3% to 17.50. A total of 9.22 billion shares were traded on Wednesday, lower than the last 20-session average of 10.44 billion. Advancers outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by a 3.82-to-1 ratio. On Nasdaq, a 3.55-to-1 ratio favored advancing issues.

Rebounding Optimism About Economic Recovery Moved Wall Street Higher

U.S. stock markets recovered from two consecutive days of losses with economically sensitive stocks leading the rally as investors became hopeful about an economic recovery with business activities resuming and more people receiving vaccination.

Toward that end, on Apr 6, President Joe Biden had announced that all U.S. adults would be eligible for vaccination by Apr 19. Moreover, investors also favored small-cap stocks in Wednesday’s session with the small-cap centric Russell 2000 gaining 2.4% to close at 2,239.63 points, marking its biggest one-day advance since Mar 1.

Solid Earnings Results

Healthcare Services Group, Inc. HCSG came out with quarterly earnings of $0.33 per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $0.29 per share. This compares to earnings of $0.27 per share a year ago. (Read More)

First Horizon Corp. FHN came out with quarterly earnings of $0.51 per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $0.37 per share. This compares to earnings of $0.05 per share a year ago. (Read More)

Baker Hughes Co. BKR came out with quarterly earnings of $0.12 per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $0.11 per share. This compares to earnings of $0.11 per share a year ago. (Read More)

Consequently, shares of Healthcare Services, First Horizon and Baker Hughes rose 13.2%, 5.4% and 0.2%, respectively. Notably, all three companies carry a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Economic Data

The Energy Information Administration reported that U.S. commercial crude oil inventories (excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve) for the week ending Apr 16, increased by 0.6 million barrels per day from the previous week. Moreover, crude oil inventories are above the five-year average by about 1%.

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