U.S. equities mostly finished higher on Thursday — although technology stocks were again a drag — as investors cheered the debut of television streaming company Roku Inc (NASDAQ:ROKU), which surged nearly 68% in its first day of trading. Almost enough to make you forget all about recent IPO disappointments Blue Apron Holdings Inc (NYSE:APRN) and Snap Inc (NYSE:SNAP).
In the end, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.2%, the S&P 500 gained 0.1%, the Nasdaq Composite finished unchanged and the Russell 2000 gained 0.3%. Treasury bonds were mixed, the dollar weakened, gold gained 0.1% and oil lost 1.1% to reverse early gains.
Click to Enlarge Breadth was positive with advancers outpacing decliners 1.5 to 1 with NYSE volume at just 89% of its 30-day average. Materials led the way with a 0.7% gain while industrials were the laggards, down 0.1%.
McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD) gained 2.2% on an upgrade to buy at Longbow Research citing positive U.S. comp-store sales trend growth on initiatives like the Sriracha Big Mac, delivery services, and hand-battered chicken tenders. Conagra Brands Inc (NYSE:CAG) gained 1.9% after reporting a first-quarter earnings and revenue beat despite a gross margin miss.
On the economic front GDP growth was revised to 3.1% for the second quarter; a massive acceleration from the 1.2% pace clocked in the first quarter thanks to an inventory accumulation. Headlines were dominated again by the details — or lack thereof — of President Trump’s tax plan including a cut of the corporate tax rate to 20%.
The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget estimated the plan gained around $5.8 trillion in cuts and would have a net cost of around $2.2 trillion.
The market is closing in on a rare gain for the month of September, up about 1.6% for the S&P 500. This follows a gain in August as well. According to the folks over at the Trader’s Almanac, that’s only the 15th time this has happened since 1950 out of 68 years.
As a reminder, September is the only month out of the year to have more declines than advances since 1950.
In prior years when this has happened, October and November performances tended to be positive with some slippage in December.
Check out Serge Berger’s Trade of the Day for Sept. 29.
Today’s Trading Landscape
To see a list of the companies reporting earnings today, click here.
For a list of this week’s economic reports due out, click here.
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