By Markus Heitkoetter
￼It was another day of surprises for the markets.
Stocks opened higher, then spent the morning session moving sideways. But things got interesting in the afternoon.
Around 1pm ET, stocks took off out of the blue. The rally continued to gain momentum, and by day’s end the major indices were sitting at highs of the day.
Normally a move like today comes after some news or catalyst. But with mixed reports this morning, traders were really left scratching their heads.
This morning the Consumer Price Index (CPI) dropped 0.2% and was in line with expectations. The index represents the change in price of goods and services purchased by consumers.
Weekly Unemployment Claims came in lower than expected. Today’s report showed 255,000 claims versus the 269,000 that were expected. The drop in claims brought the average back to the lowest level since December 1973.
Meanwhile, the Empire State Manufacturing Index and Philly Fed Manufacturing Index were big disappointments. The Empire State reading was -11.4 and the Philly Fed reading was -4.5. A reading below 0 indicates worsening growth conditions.
In spite of the mixed reports, the S&P finished with a 1.5% gain. Up 29.5 points, the S&P wrapped up the day at 2023.86.
The DOW ended with a 1.3% gain. Adding 217 points, the DOW finished at 17141.75.
But it was the NASDAQ that led the way today. The NASDAQ finished 1.8% higher. With an 87 point gain, the NASDAQ closed at 4870.10.
Crude Oil (CL) ended lower today after inventories increased by 7.6 million barrels. The open outcry session closed at $46.85 a barrel, down 0.7%.
Netflix (NFLX) also made headlines after reporting weaker than expected subscription numbers. NFLX gapped down at the open, and eventually ended the day at $101.09 with an 8.3% loss.
Looking at tomorrow’s calendar, we have Capacity Utilization Rate and Industrial Production at 9:15am ET. But the more significant report is the Preliminary Consumer Sentiment release at 10:00am ET. Also at 10am ET is the JOLTS Job Openings report.
As we head into the last trading day of the week the S&P is up 0.5% for the week, the DOW is up 0.3%, and the NASDAQ is up .08%.