Market Morning Brief: April 17

On Thursday U.S. stocks passed through a volatile session before ending in positive territory...

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On Thursday U.S. stocks passed through a volatile session before ending in positive territory.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost up to 293 points at one point before rebounding to close at 23,537, up 33 points or 0.1% on day.

The S&P 500 rose 16 points (+0.6%) to 2,799, and the Nasdaq 100 jumped 165 points (+1.9%) to 8,757.

Nasdaq 100 Index: Daily Chart

Source: CityIndex, TradingView

Health Care Equipment & Services (+2.99%), Semiconductors & Semiconductor Equipment (+2.68%) and Retailing (+2.62%) sectors performed the best.

Anthem (ANTM, +8.5%), Cigna (CI, +7.0%), Xilinx (XLNX, +6.5%) and UnitedHealth (UNH +4.1%), and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN, +5.5%) were among the top gainers.      

Meanwhile, United Airlines (UAL -11.5%) and Occidental Petroleum (OXY, -10.4%) were at the bottom of the S&P 500 Index.  

On the technical side, about 19.4% (22.8% in the prior session) of stocks in the S&P 500 Index were trading above their 200-day moving average, and 92.2% (99.2% in the prior session) were above their 20-day moving average.

U.S. official data showed that Initial Jobless Claims declined to 5.245 million for the week ended April 11 (5.500 million expected), and Housing Starts fell to an annualized rate of 1.216 million units in March (1.300 million units expected).

Later today, the Conference Board U.S. Leading Index will be reported (-7.2% on month in March expected).

U.S. President Donald Trump announced a plan for eventually reopening the country’s economy in several phases -- "Opening Up America Again" -- which is based on the severity of the coronavirus outbreak in each individual state.

At the same time, New York and other East Coast states announced extension of their shutdown of nonessential businesses to May 15.

European stocks stabilized after a 3% loss in the prior session, with the Stoxx Europe 600 Index rising 0.6%. Germany's DAX increased 0.2%, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 climbed 0.6%. while France's CAC was little changed.

U.S. government bond prices remained firm, as the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury yield declined to 0.609% from 0.637% Wednesday.

Spot gold was broadly flat at $1,716 an ounce.

U.S. Nymex crude oil futures settled unchanged at $19.87 a barrel, while Brent added 0.5% to $27.82 a barrel. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) said global oil demand would drop by 20 million barrels per day in April, about one-fifth of previous demand.

China is expected to reported a reduction of 6.0% on year in its first-quarter Gross Domestic Product, the first economic contraction in nearly 30 years.

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