Stock Market Today

Wednesday, October 18 2017

Daily Updates

Stock Market Today: October 18, 2017

Harvey S. Katz, CFA, Robert Mitkowski, and Robert Harrington | 10/18/2017

Amidst mostly mixed overall market breadth, the major U.S. equities traded higher for most of the day, driven by optimism stemming from corporate earnings season and an encouraging update from the Federal Reserve. The positive sentiment was driven once more by the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which broached the 23,000 threshold at the open and added to its daily gains as the session wore on. While recent strength would suggest some possible vulnerability down the road, the prospect of tax reform could well spur the blue chip index toward 24,000 by the end of the year. By the closing bell, however, both the S&P 500 and NASDAQ had fallen back toward their breakeven lines.

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Markets Commentaries

The Beige Book Is Reassuring

Harvey S. Katz, CFA | 10/18/2017

The Federal Reserve issued its Beige Book economic summation a little earlier this afternoon, and there were no surprises. In fact, the stock market, up strongly at that time, continued to hold its impressive gains following the mid-afternoon issuance.

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Stocks Highlights

Dow 30 Earnings: UnitedHealth Group Third Quarter 2017

Erik M. Manning | 10/17/2017

UnitedHealth Group, (UNH) the nation's largest healthcare insurer, reported third-quarter results that met consensus revenue targets and beat earnings expectations by a handsome margin. Too, management raised its EPS guidance for 2017 and reiterated its outlook for 2018. On the heels of these positives, UNH stock rose to a fresh 52-week high north of the $204 mark, and has since retreated to a quotation just below that level. Still, the stock is up more than 5% on the news.

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