By Barbara Kollmeyer, MarketWatch , Ryan Vlastelica
Constellation Brands climbs after earnings, outlook
U.S. stock-index gains accelerated deeper in to records on Thursday afternoon after the House of Representatives passed a budget resolution on Thursday--a step seen as setting the stage for an overhaul of the tax code.
What are stock benchmarks doing?
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 82 points, or 0.4%, to 22,744. The S&P 500 index rose 11 points to 2,548, a rise of about 0.4%. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 29 points, or 0.5%, to 6,564. All three indexes traded at or near intraday records.
What could drive markets?
After the House vote (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/house-passes-budget-resolution-in-key-step-for-tax-plan-2017-10-05), the Senate is planning to vote on a separate budget bill on Thursday, and GOP leaders are planning to write a single measure that will pass both chambers. Republicans are aiming to pass tax cuts through what is known as budget reconciliation, which requires just a simple majority in the Senate. Republicans currently control the Senate with 52 seats.
A persistent uptrend for the stocks have been partially underpinned by the hope of tax cuts proposed by President Donald Trump, with a likelihood of the passage of a pro-business tax policy often propelling buying in assets perceived as risky.
What are strategists saying?
-- "The path of least resistance for markets seems to be higher. Revisions on the earnings front have been positive, the global growth theme is continuing, and I think valuations are fine, given where we are in terms of inflation," said Aaron Clark, portfolio manager at GW&K Investment Management. "There are no classic signs of exuberance that would derail the market's trajectory, and I wouldn't be surprised to see multiples and earnings go higher, absent some crazy macro shock that no one can forecast."
See:Some investors see signs stock market 'on verge' of a melt-up (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/why-stocks-may-be-on-verge-of-a-melt-up-2017-10-04)
-- "With the dollar index at near two-month highs, it looks like the market is prepared to believe that the [Fed] committee remains committed to higher rates, even if they think current forecasts are a bit on the hawkish side," said Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at IG. Beauchmap said sharp gains for the Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/key-yardstick-of-us-manufacturers-touches-highest-level-since-2004-ism-finds-2017-10-02) and services (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/key-yardstick-of-us-manufacturers-touches-highest-level-since-2004-ism-finds-2017-10-02) indexes released this week may draw comment from Fed's Powell and Harker. Both sets of data provide rationale for further U.S. rate increases. Details on the Fed's balance-sheet unwind may also be on offer, he said.
Which stocks are in focus?
United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS) fell 1.8% while FedEx Corp. (FDX) was down 0.6% after Bloomberg reported that Amazon.com Inc.(AMZN) was testing a new delivery service (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/ups-fedex-stocks-fall-after-report-of-amazon-testing-new-delivery-service-2017-10-05)that could pose a competitive threat to the package shipping companies. Amazon was up 0.8%.
"These could continue to be volatile as investors worry whether they're the latest in a string of Amazon roadkill," Clark said.
SeaWorld Entertainment Inc.(SEAS) fell 2.5%, erasing a premarket gain that came on news Legoland parent Merlin Entertainments Inc.(MERL.LN) might buy part of the troubled water park operator (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/seaworld-surges-on-reports-of-possible-deal-with-legoland-owner-2017-10-05).
(http://www.marketwatch.com/story/seaworld-surges-on-reports-of-possible-deal-with-legoland-owner-2017-10-05)Corona-parent Constellation Brands Inc. (STZ) gained 4.3% after it reported second-quarter earnings that beat expectations and raised its outlook (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/constellation-brands-stock-jumps-after-profit-beat-raised-outlook-2017-10-05).
What are Fed speakers and data saying?
On Thursday, Fed Gov. Jerome Powell said more rules and regulations aren't always the best solution to problems in financial markets.
Powell is among leading candidates to replace Janet Yellen (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/jerome-powell-in-the-running-for-top-fed-spot-echoes-one-of-trumps-favorite-economic-themes-2017-10-03) as Fed chief when her term at the helm expires in February.
See:Stock market in wait-and-see mode as Trump mulls Fed chair nominee (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/stock-market-in-wait-and-see-mode-as-trump-mulls-fed-chair-nominee-2017-10-04)
Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/feds-harker-says-he-has-penciled-in-december-rate-hike-2017-10-05), in an interview with CNBC said he "penciled in a third rate hike in December," adding that the move depends on the performance of inflation over the next few months.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Senate approved Randal Quarles to be the first Fed vice chairman of supervision.
On the data front, in the latest economic report, initial jobless claims fell by 12,000 (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/jobless-claims-drop-12000-to-260000-as-disruptions-from-hurricanes-ease-2017-10-05) (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/jobless-claims-drop-12000-to-260000-as-disruptions-from-hurricanes-ease-2017-10-05) in the latest week. Separately, the U.S. trade deficit declined (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-trade-deficit-falls-to-11-month-low-2017-10-05) to its lowest level in 11 months.
What are other assets doing?
European stocks traded mixed (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/european-stocks-trade-mixed-as-investors-absorb-catalonia-developments-2017-10-05), while Spanish stocks rebounded after posting the biggest loss in 15 months on Wednesday. Spanish assets have been battered in recent days in the fallout from an independence vote from the Catalan region that turned violent.
Read:Catalonia's secession from Spain may come as soon as Monday (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/catalonias-secession-from-spain-may-come-as-soon-as-monday-2017-10-04)
Asian markets traded mostly positive (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/nikkei-swings-to-slight-gains-as-other-asian-markets-rise-2017-10-04), though several markets were shut for holidays.
Oil futures (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-prices-stabilize-after-us-production-hits-july-2015-highs-2017-10-05) rose, the ICE U.S. Dollar Index (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dollar-higher-against-european-currencies-including-significant-move-against-pound-2017-10-05) added to its two-month high at 93.77, and gold futures (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/gold-tips-higher-aims-for-second-consecutive-gain-2017-10-05) traded little changed.
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
October 05, 2017 12:20 ET (16:20 GMT)