THE MARKET RESPONDS: DOW falls 140 points as Dems call for impeachment of Trump

NEW YORK — U.S. stocks fell 140 points on Tuesday in response to increased calls from House Democrats to impeach President Donald Trump.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 141.68 points, or 0.53%, to 26,808.31, the S&P 500 lost 25.15 points, or 0.84%, to 2,966.63 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 118.84 points, or 1.46%, to 7,993.63.

Financial experts connected the market’s volatility directly to the escalating calls by Democrats to impeach Trump amid allegations that he sought assistance from a foreign government to obtain dirt on Democratic rival Joe Biden.

The latest controversy stems from allegations made by a so-called “whistleblower” that Trump pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to provide information on Biden in exchange for foreign aid.

The president has vehemently denied these allegations and told the press Tuesday that his only concern in regard to continued financial aid to the Ukrain is that the U.S. was paying more than European countries were.

“My complaint has always been, and I’d withhold again and I’ll continue to withhold until such time as Europe and other nations contribute to Ukraine because they’re not doing it,” Trump told reporters at the United Nations General Assembly.

Trump also on Tuesday ordered the complete, unredacted transcript of the call to be released to the press.

“I am currently at the United Nations representing our Country, but have authorized the release tomorrow of the complete, fully declassified and unredacted transcript of my phone conversation with President Zelensky of Ukraine,” Trump said in a released statement. “You will see it was a very friendly and totally appropriate call. No pressure and, unlike Joe Biden and his son, NO quid pro quo! This is nothing more than a continuation of the Greatest and most Destructive Witch Hunt of all time!”

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ATTACK ON THE SECOND: Firearm stocks spike in wake of Dems call for stricter gun control

WASHINGTON — Stock shares of U.S. gunmakers rose Monday amid renewed calls for gun control measures following last weekend’s mass shootings in Texas and Ohio.

According to a report published by Newsmax, American Outdoor Brands Corp. (AOBC), which makes Smith & Wesson firearms, rose as much as 7.5%, while Sturm Ruger & Co. Inc. (RGR) rose 3.8%. Ammunition maker Vista Outdoor Inc. (VSTO) gained as much as 2% while the S&P 500 Index fell 2.3% on rising trade tensions between the U.S. and China.

The jump follows two separate mass shootings that occurred over the weekend, which were followed by immediate calls from Democrats to enact stricter gun laws and tougher background checks.

Authorities say a gunman opened fire in an El Paso, Texas Wal-mart Saturday, killing 22 people and injuring dozens more. Less than 24 hours later, a man in Dayton, Ohio killed nine people and wounded several others.

Gun stocks typically rise after mass shootings as renewed calls for tougher firearms laws increase speculation that Americans will want to purchase more weapons before new regulations take effect.

President Trump on Monday commented on the weekend tragedies, calling for “bipartisan solutions” to combat gun violence. The president blamed video games, mental illness, and racism for the shootings, but stopped short of calling for federal universal background checks, a gun-control measure popular with Democrats.

He instead called for a collaboration between state and federal agencies to “develop tools that can detect mass shooters before they strike.”

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GREAT AGAIN: Stocks surge on earnings and economic data; Dow climbs 500

NEW YORK (AP) — World stock markets are rallying Tuesday, and U.S. stocks are on track for their second-largest gain in 2018 following strong earnings reports from major U.S. companies in finance and health care. Technology companies are also rising after their recent slump. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose as much as 502 points.

Even with the big gains, major indexes are still broadly lower for the month following a two-day rout last week that erased nearly 1,400 points from the Dow.

Investors were encouraged by some good news on the economy. The Federal Reserve said output by U.S. factories, mines and utilities climbed in September despite the effects of Hurricane Florence, and the Labor Department said U.S. employers posted the most jobs in two decades in August while hiring continued to increase.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index jumped 54 points, or 2 percent, to 2,805 as of 2:45 p.m. Eastern time. The Dow gained 494 points, or 2 percent, to 25,745.

The Nasdaq composite climbed 192 points, or 2.6 percent, to 7,623 as technology companies reversed some of their outsize losses from the last few days. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks rose 39 points, or 2.6 percent, to 1,592.

Earnings for U.S. companies climbed about 20 percent in each of the first two quarters of 2018 as economic growth picked up and corporate taxes were slashed. Analysts expect similar results in the current period.

Stocks have gyrated over the last three days following a six-day losing streak that included some of their biggest declines of the year. The S&P 500 fell 6.9 percent from its record high on Sept. 20 to its recent low on Thursday. It remains 4.3 percent below that record level.

HEALTHY…: UnitedHealth, the largest U.S. health insurer and provider of privately-run Medicare Advantage plans, once again topped Wall Street forecasts and raised its projections for the year. The stock climbed 4.1 percent to $270.95. Other health insurers also rose. Cigna advanced 3.8 percent to $211.70 and Humana rose 3.4 percent to $327.90. Medicaid service company Molina Healthcare jumped 4.1 percent to $144.26.

Health care products giant Johnson & Johnson added 1.4 percent to $135.89 after it said prescription sales jumped. Its results, too, were stronger than analysts expected.

…AND WEALTHY: Morgan Stanley rose 5.7 percent to $45.94 and Goldman Sachs added 2.4 percent to $220.38 after the two investment banks did better than expected in the third quarter, helped by strong performance in their trading operations and better-than-expected revenue from stock underwriting. Morgan Stanley’s stock has fallen 12 percent this year and Goldman has lost almost 14 percent.

TECH UPDATE: Technology companies rose. Microsoft jumped 2.8 percent to $110.65 and Adobe rallied 8.6 percent to $258.36 after it backed its fourth-quarter profit and revenue forecasts. The stock has jumped 47 percent this year, but had slumped in recent days. Internet companies also advanced. Alphabet, Google’s parent company, rose 2.4 percent to $1,128.80.

Email delivery company Sendgrid climbed 14.8 percent to $35.50 after cloud communications platform company Twilio agreed to buy it for $36.92 per share in stock, or $1.7 billion. Twilio fell 3.4 percent to $73.56.

SUSPENSE FOR NETFLIX: Netflix rose 2.7 percent to $342.04 ahead of its third-quarter report Tuesday afternoon. The streaming video company has struggled over the past three months and has fallen almost 20 percent since its second-quarter report, when it posted disappointing subscriber totals and gave a weaker forecast than analysts expected.

It’s still up 78 percent this year, the third-best of any S&P 500 stock.

O CANNABIS: On Wednesday Canada will legalize marijuana nationwide. While cannabis companies mostly traded lower Tuesday, the stocks have made huge gains this year in highly volatile trading. Tilray fell 5.7 percent to $156.27 while Canopy Growth shed 7.1 percent to $52.87.

On Tuesday Benchmark Capital analyst Mike Hickey started coverage of Tilray with a $200 price target, saying its supply deals with pharmacies and a partnership with drugmaker Novartis will help make it an early leader in the market. Hickey valued the Canadian cannabis market at about $3.2 billion in 2019 and said it will climb to $8.1 billion by 2023.

Tilray’s market value stands at $14.5 billion, up ninefold since it went public in mid-July, and Canopy Growth has more than doubled in value to $12 billion. Canopy announced a $4 billion investment from Corona beer maker Constellation Brands in August. The huge gains reflect investors’ view that that other countries will legalize marijuana in the years to come.

ENERGY: U.S. benchmark crude oil added 0.2 percent to $71.92 per barrel in New York. Brent crude, the international standard, rose 0.4 percent to $81.14 per barrel in London.

Wholesale gasoline rose 1.7 percent to $1.98 a gallon and heating oil picked up 0.6 percent to $2.34 a gallon. Natural gas lost 0.1 percent to $3.24 per 1,000 cubic feet.

BONDS: Bond prices edged lower. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 3.17 percent from 3.16 percent.

METALS: Gold rose 0.1 percent to $1,231 an ounce. Silver lost 0.2 percent to $14.70 an ounce. Copper slipped 0.3 percent to $2.78 a pound.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 112.27 yen from 111.88 yen. The euro fell to $1.1577 from $1.1584.

OVERSEAS: France’s CAC 40 added 1.5 percent while the DAX in Germany jumped 1.4 percent. Britain’s FTSE 100 rose 0.4 percent. Italy’s FTSE MIB jumped 2.2 percent after the government avoided last-minute delays in presenting a budget plan.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 rallied 1.2 percent and the Kospi in South Korea was little changed. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index finished 0.1 percent higher.

___

Marley Jay of The Associated Press contributed to the contents of this article.

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‘THE TRUMP EFFECT’: JOB GROWTH IN MAY SURPASSES STOCK MARKET EXPECTATIONS

WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Donald Trump’s campaign promise to “make America great again” certainly seems to be one he’s keeping, at least when it comes to jobs.

According to the May National Jobs Report by ADP (http://adpemploymentreport.com/2017/May/NER/NER-May-2017.aspx), the private sector added 253,000 jobs last month, nearly Wall Street’s expectation of 185,000 jobs.

“Job growth is rip-roaring,” Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, said in a statement. “The current pace of job growth is nearly three times the rate necessary to absorb growth in the labor force. Increasingly, businesses’ number one challenge will be a shortage of labor.”

Service jobs led the way adding 205,000 new jobs, with professional and business services contributing 88,000 — its best month in about three years — and education and health services added 54,000 more.

To put the totals in context, it was the fourth time this year and the sixth time in the last seven months that the ADP count put total job creation above 200,000, a phenomenon that industry analysts have dubbed “the Trump effect”.

The stock market was quick to respond as the market pushed into record territory on Thursday in light of the report.

As reported by Marketwatch (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-stocks-on-track-to-edge-higher-rebounding-from-two-day-dip-2017-06-01), the S&P 500 index SPX, +0.56% gained 13 points, or 0.6%, to 2,425, trading near its intraday record of 2,426.08. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.47% rose 112 points, or 0.5%, to 21,120, near its high of the session. The Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +0.60% climbed 31 points, or 0.5%, to 6,229, hovering around its intraday all-time high of 6,233.42.

“I can’t predict the future but this is not a bad environment we are in. The Fed is going to raise rates but they are going to do it in a way to encourage growth. Earnings expectations are rising and the economy is rising,” John Manley, chief equity strategist at Wells Fargo Funds told the financial news agency.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics is expected to release its own report on job numbers this Friday. It’s numbers are expected to mirror those of the ADP report.

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POTUS SCORES AGAIN: NUMBER OF AMERICANS BACK TO WORK SOARS SINCE TRUMP INAUGURATION

In yet another example of what many political analysts have dubbed the “Trump effect”, the number of Americans actively participating in the U.S. work force since the 45th president’s inauguration in January has skyrocketed.

According to a report released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (https://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm), the number of Americans engaged in the work force in the past month hit a record high of 160,056,000, an all time high since the bureau began tracking the workforce.

As documented in the report, 340,000 Americans joined the labor force in February and the number of Americans not participating in the labor force dropped from 94,366,000 in January to 94,190,000 in February.

The report marks the second time since Trump’s inauguration that a marked uptake in full time employment was noted.

The surge in hiring included 58,000 additional construction jobs, the largest increase in nearly a decade, as consumers, more confident in the economy, once again began buying new homes. Also in February, manufacturing expanded at the fastest pace in more than two years.

Many executives say they anticipate that the trend will continue as they forecast an increase in economic growth due to Trump’s promised tax cuts, deregulation and infrastructure spending.

The stock market has also felt the impact of the so called “Trump effect” hitting record highs in the months since the president’s inauguration.

“This is clearly a Trump rally, a rally based largely on the idea that Washington is going to come through with giant tax cuts for corporations, infrastructure spending, all of this stimulus coming down the pike line,” Ben White of Politico told WNYC. “So essentially corporations are going to be more profitable because they are going to be taxed less so stock prices go up.”

White House press secretary Sean Spicer commented on the positive economic news via Twitter on Friday morning: “Not a bad way to start day 50 of this administration,” he wrote.

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DOW SOARS TO RECORD HEIGHTS IN RESPONSE TO TRUMP CONGRESSIONAL ADDRESS

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Remember when then presidential candidate Donald Trump said that if he was elected the American people were going to start winning so much that we’d grow tired of it? According market experts we may now be on that exact path.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average crossed the 21,000 mark at the opening bell Wednesday morning in what was one of the fastest 1,000-point advances in market history.

According to market watchers, the sudden surge in optimism is being credited to Trump’s first address to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday night in which he outlined the myriad of ways in which plans to “make America great again.”

“Policymakers have been falling over themselves in the rush to suggest the U.S. economy is ready for another hike, just one quarter after the last one. Compared to the languid pace of tightening over the past year or more, this is a positively giddy pace,” IG Chief Market Analyst Chris Beauchamp told Fox Business News (http://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/2017/03/01/dow-s-latest-1k-point-advance-new-record-trump-policy-priorities-fuel-rally.html).

Many financial analysts agree that the president’s overall tone and “presidential” demeanor instilled confidence among investors, sending global equity markets soaring.

“The economy is doing well, as we can see from today’s inflation and manufacturing numbers and any additional stimulus will put it into even a higher gear, and stock markets like that,” Mark Kepner, managing director of sales and trading at Themis Trading told Marketwatch (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/wall-street-stocks-set-to-resume-rally-on-fed-rate-hike-hopes-trump-relief-2017-03-01).

“The markets are trading higher on the softer approach by the President,” Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial told The Business Insider (http://www.businessinsider.com/dow-21000-stock-market-2017-3). “The dollar and yields are moving higher as next theme of the market, the ‘Fed’ overrides the Trump effect.”

The probability of a March rate hike jumped to 67.5 percent from roughly 30 percent, according to the Business Insider report. The central bank’s policy-setting body is scheduled to meet again on March 14.

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