Stocks rallied on Wednesday, the first day of gains for the market in three days, with the Nasdaq leading percentage gains on Wednesday and the Dow adding more than 150 points.
First, the scoreboard:
- Dow: 17,213.56, +157.7, (+0.9%)
- S&P 500: 1,998.54, +15.8, (+0.8%)
- Nasdaq: 4,554.06, +45.4, (+1%)
And now, the top stories on Wednesday:
1. The latest report on new home sales showed sales rose a whopping 18% in August to an annualized pace of 504,000. This beat the 4.4% increase to a rate of 430,000 that was expected by Wall Street economists, and marked the largest beat relative to expectations for the reading since May 2010. Following the report, Michael Gapen said, “The three-month average pace of new home sales now stands at 450k, modestly above the Q2 average of 430k and the Q1 average of 431k. Inventories of new homes were broadly unchanged on the month at 203k, up 201k from last month. Against the August pace of sales, this left months’ supply at 4.8 months, down from 5.6 in June and July. Altogether, this is a much stronger report than expected and suggests housing demand has stabilised in recent quarters.”
2. A report from Business Insider’s Nicholas Carlson on Wednesday noted that 50% of Yahoo’s outstanding shares, or about 500 million shares, have changed hands over the last four days, well above the average turnover of 8% over a four day period. Carlson unpacked a few theories as to what’s behind this uptick in activity, including that Yahoo could be buying its own stock and that investors could be selling Yahoo stock to buy Alibaba. Alibaba shares gained more than 3.5% on Wednesday.
3. GoPro shares were up more than 7% on Wednesday, and the wearable camera company has now gained more than 170% since its IPO in June.
4. The US dollar has been rallying, which many argue is a negative for stocks and the economy, as it pressures the purchasing power of the US’ international trading partners. But Goldman Sachs economist Jari Stehn wrote in a note to clients that under the firm’s baseline scenario of the dollar gaining another 3%, the impact on inflation and growth is likely to be negligible.
5. Mark Dow of Behavioural Macro wrote a great summary of what’s been going on in commodities market on Wednesday. Dow argued that recent weakness in commodities is just the first part of a two-part decline in the value of commodities that is likely to take shape as investors who piled into these assets during the 2004-2010 boom slowly get forced out.
6. Bed Bath & Beyond shares gained more than 7% on Wednesday after the home goods retailer on Tuesday night reported earnings and sales that beat expectations. The company also gave a fiscal-year profit outlook that was in-line with expectations.
7. The euro continued to make new lows against the dollar, falling below $US1.28 as the economic situation in the currency area continues to deteriorate. Earlier on Wednesday, the Germany’s IFO business climate index fell from the prior month and missed expectations, and following that report Pantheon Macro’s Claus Vistesen wrote that, “Weak growth in Eurozone trading partners, tensions with Ukraine and, possibly, a slowdown in China continue to weigh on the main German business survey index.”
8. Tuesday night at sundown marks the beginning of Rosh Hashanah, the celebration of the Jewish New Year, and UBS’ Art Cashin reminded us of one of the more obscure calendar-based trading rules on Wall Street: “Sell on Rosh Hashanah, and buy on Yom Kippur.” Yom Kippur is set to begin at sundown on October 3.
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