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Market Digest Online FRIDAY, JUNE 23, 2017: U.S. stocks closed mixed on Thursday, with the health care sector posting strong gains. The Dow Jones industrial average closed 12 points lower, with Goldman Sachs contributing the most losses and UnitedHealth the most gains. The S&P 500 ended just below breakeven, with health care rising more than 1 percent to lead advancers. The Health Care Select Sector ETF (XLV) hit an intraday record earlier in the session. However, financials dropped 0.6 percent as the big banks got ready for the release of their latest stress test results. The Nasdaq composite rose just 0.04 percent but notched a two-day winning streak on the back of health care's performance.

Health care stocks have been on a tear this week as investors braced for the unveiling of the Senate's health care bill, with aims at repealing and replacing Obamacare. The bill would continue to offer reimbursements to health insurance companies for subsidies for at least two years. It would also do away with current Obamacare taxes and would phase out Medicaid's expansion program. The Senate is expected to vote on the bill next week.

"At this point, it looks like the vote will have the same intrigue as the house vote," said Bill Northey, chief investment officer at the Private Client Group at U.S. Bank. He also said health care stocks may be benefiting from a sector rotation from technology into other spaces.

Oil rebounded slightly today but given its recent decline, the broader market has stood its ground, with the S&P and Dow up marginally for the week, while the Nasdaq was had risen 1.34 percent in the same period.

"Oil is becoming less important since it only makes up about 6 percent of the S&P 500", said Maris Ogg, president at Tower Bridge Advisors. "In the overall context of things, we know that oil is the new coal and gas is the new oil. Crude just isn't a commodity in short supply."

Despite energy's recent pullback, the overall indexes remain near record highs. Gary Bradshaw, portfolio manager at Hodges Capital, said he expects stocks to keep climbing higher. "Corporations are doing well and we have a backdrop of low corporate rates," he said.

In corporate news, shares of American Airlines gained about 1 percent after the airline disclosed Qatar Airways had approached the firm about taking a large stake in the company. Other airline stocks like Delta Air Lines and Southwest followed American shares higher.


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