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STOCKS RALLY: Here's what you need to know

US stocks rallied for a second day, regaining some ground after the worst sell-off of the year on Wednesday.

But markets got more political bombshells in the final hour of trading.

The major indexes pared gains after the Washington Post reported that a White House official close to President Donald Trump is now a person of interest in the Russia probe. And, The New York Times reported that Trump told Russian diplomats in an Oval Office meeting last week that his firing of “nut job” FBI Director James Comey had taken “great pressure” off of him.

Here’s the scoreboard:

  • Dow: 20,797.62, +134.60, (0.65%)
  • S&P 500: 2,381.16, +15.44, (0.65%)
  • Nasdaq: 6,086.64, +31.51, (0.52%)
  1. Deere & Company reported second-quarter earnings that were ahead of Wall Street expectations, and raised its profit forecast. “John Deere reported strong results in the second quarter as market conditions showed signs of further stabilisation,” chairman and CEO Samuel R. Allen said in the earnings release.
  2. Jim Donovan, a Goldman Sachs executive, has withdrawn his name from consideration for Deputy Treasury Secretary, according to Politico. Donovan was nominated on March 14 and was one of a handful of Goldman alums named to administration positions, including Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and National Economic Council director Gary Cohn.
  3. The US oil-rig count rose for an 18th straight week. Oil-rig rose by eight to 720, and gas increased by eight to 180. Miscellaneous rigs were unchanged at one, taking the total up 16 to 901 rigs.
  4. Campbell Soup missed on sales and earnings. The company was hurt by higher promotions and weak demand for condensed soups, broths and V8 vegetable juices. It warned that full-year sales could decline.

Additionally:

Bitcoin surges past $US1,900 for the first time

Tech stocks are on pace to do something that hasn’t been seen since the dot-com bubble

There’s a major miscalculation behind the Fed’s interest rate hikes

Bank of America’s CEO says a pre-crisis idea could make it easier for millennials to buy homes

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