Markets Right Now: Walmart leads gains for US stock indexes

Marco Green
August 19, 2018

The U.S. stock market opens at 9:30 a.m. EDT on Thursday, Aug 16.

Meanwhile, Dow member Walmart shot up more than nine percent after reporting a 4.5% jump in comparable sales at U.S. stores in the second quarter, its strongest performance in more than a decade.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (.DJI) rose 426.73 points, or 1.7 percent, to 25,589.14, the S&P 500 (.SPX) gained 26.85 points, or 0.95 percent, to 2,845.22 and the Nasdaq Composite (.IXIC) added 52.47 points, or 0.67 percent, to 7,826.58. The sector was led higher by a 2.3 percent rise in Caterpillar Inc (CAT.N) shares.

World stock markets turned lower during European trading hours Friday as investors anxious again about Turkey's financial trouble, after Asian stocks rose on news China is preparing to resume trade discussions with the U.S.

Strong results from Walmart and hopes for progress on trade with China are helping to send stock prices higher in early trading.

Also boosting sentiment was a fresh signal from Walmart that US shoppers were confident and in a spending mood. Walmart sprinted almost 10% after the retailer said its sales climbed in the second quarter.

Cisco (CSCO.O) jumped 4.3 percent after posting quarterly results and first-quarter sales forecast that topped Wall Street expectations.

The S&P index recorded 19 new 52-week highs and two new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 34 new highs and 32 new lows.

Thursday's big gains came as the bull market for the broad USA stock index looks set on Wednesday to eclipse the 1990s bull as the longest in history.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 279 points, or 1.1 percent, to 25,440.

Walmart's shares (WMT.N) surged 9.2 percent, the most on the benchmark S&P 500 index, after the retailer said its USA comparable sales grew the most in a decade and posted strong e-commerce sales.

Stocks slumped Friday and Monday as investors anxious about Turkey's currency crisis and its ability to pay off debt with its weakened lira.

Second-quarter earnings have been stronger than expected, with 79.3 percent of the 463 S&P 500 that have reported so far beating analyst expectations, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. The countries are in conflict over technology policy and China's trade surplus with the U.S. The two sides haven't talked since early June. After those talks, both countries slapped tariffs on billions worth of each other's imports.

"Any hopes of some sort of an agreement would relieve worries of a trade war and the markets would be able to focus on the macro news and earnings".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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