Stocks Climb as 2017 Kicks off Right

U.S. equities climbed higher on Tuesday as traders returned after the long holiday weekend and looked ahead to what 2017 will bring. Good things apparently, as prices rose to break a three-day losing streak and once again put 20,000 in play.

In the end, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.6%, the S&P 500 gained 0.9%, the Nasdaq Composite wafted up 0.9% and the Russell 2000 gained 0.6%. Treasury were mixed, the dollar was stronger, gold gained 0.8% and oil reversed earlier gains to lose 2.5%.

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Telecom stocks led the way higher with a 1.9% gain following by healthcare, up 1.4%. Utilities were the laggards, down 0.3%. Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) gained 2.3% and CenturyLink Inc (NYSE:CTL) gained 6.6% on analyst upgrades.

Xerox Corp (NYSE:XRX) gained nearly 20% thanks to the completion of the spinoff of Conduent and an upgrade from Credit Suisse analysts amid confidence in management’s turnaround efforts. Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN) gained 5.4% on an upgrade from RBC citing valuation and efforts to streamline its international footprint.

Automakers were in the news as President-elect Donald Trump hit General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) for building some Chevy Cruze models in Mexico, reiterating the threat of a border tax. Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) gained 3.8% after announcing plans to scrap a new $1.6 billion plant in Mexico in exchange for a $700 million investment in Michigan adding 700 jobs.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (NYSE:FCAU) gained 4.7% on the announcement of a collaboration with Google on connected-car systems and reports it will reveal an autonomous vehicle concept at the CES 2017 show.

After the close, Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) dell 2.2% after reporting weaker-than-expected Model S deliveries

On the economic front, the ISM manufacturing index increased to 54.7 in December from 53.2 in November, beating expectations for a 53.7 result. New orders, production and employment all reached new highs for 2016.

Looking ahead, all eyes are on Wednesday’s release of the latest Federal Reserve meeting minutes. Also watch for a continuation of overnight fixed income and currency market volatility as trading in China was halted as emerging market countries struggle to deal with the U.S. dollar’s recent surge.

Anthony Mirhaydari is founder of the Edge and Edge Pro investment advisory newsletters. A two-week and four-week free trial offer has been extended to Fiscal Times readers.

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