US stocks rallied to record highs again on Thursday as the rally since the election continued. Meanwhile, global bonds sold off after the
European Central Bank announced it would extend its quantitative-easing program until at least December 2017
but would scale down its asset purchases to €60 billion a month from €80 billion.
First, the scoreboard:
- Dow: 19,617.59, +67.97, (0.35%)
- S&P 500: 2,244.79, +3.44, (0.15%)
- Nasdaq: 5,408.43, +14.67, (0.27%)
- Sears is planning to close more stores as the company’s sales losses widen. “We expect to end up with a smaller but meaningfully-sized store base,” Sears Chief Financial Officer Jason Hollar said. The company reported a fifth straight quarterly loss.
- Time Inc. has hired Morgan Stanley and Bank of America to help it deal with takeover offers, The Wall Street Journal reported. The publisher’s stock jumped more than 7% on the news.
- The Chinese government is clamping down on the amount of money people can take out of the country, to curb capital flight. That’s going to hit the world’s gambling Mecca, Macau, pretty hard. Las Vegas Sands plunged 12%.
- Express Scripts, a pharmacy benefits manager, fell 7% after short-selling firm Citron Research tweeted that it might be targeted by President-elect Donald Trump. “When @realdonaldtrump tells $ESRX ‘you’re fired’ heads will roll,” founder Andrew Left said, calling it the “culprit behind pharmaceutical price gouging.”
- Initial jobless claims fell by 10,000 to 258,000 last week, according to the Department of Labour. The total number has not crossed 300,000 for 92 straight weeks.