Whatever losses were seen from the Yellen guidance on the time for a rate hike cycle to begin were taken back by the stock bulls on Thursday. The market even ignored more financial sanctions against Russia over the Crimean and Ukraine situation. A small uptick in jobless claims was quickly overlooked, and a gain in Leading Economic Indicators helped to add a base to the market as well.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury was up to 2.78% on Thursday afternoon, up 10 basis points since before Yellen spoke on Wednesday. DJIA stocks were up 109 at 16,332 before the formal closing price was given, and the S&P 500 Index was up over 11 points at 1,872. The NASDAQ participated on a much smaller basis, with a gain of 11.68 to 4,319 on Thursday.
AT&T, Inc. (NYSE: T) surged over 3% to $34.07 on double its normal trading volume. AT&T was singled out earlier in the day as being a beneficiary of large investor inflows. It seems that investors are bargain hunting since it is one of the DJIA stocks down the most from its high. There is the defensive nature of its position as well, and that 5.6% dividend won’t hurt investors either.
The Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) was up over 15 at $123.50 in the final minutes of trading. Boeing announced a better production time for its new 737 delivery times. We also saw headlines that it had 71 orders for its new 737 jets as well. It is also looking less and less likely that Boeing is at fault over the Malaysian Air crash.
J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) also hit a multi-year high and shares were up over 3% at $60.10 in the final minutes of trading. JPMorgan was running up ahead of the bank stress test results, on the hope that its dividend would be raised. The bank is now close to all-time highs.
Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) hit a decade-plus high of $40.65 on Thursday. Its shares were up 2.7% at $40.34 in the final minutes of trading. Microsoft shares are continuing to see investor inflows, on top of this week’s reports that the company may soon have a version of office available for iPads and tablets.
International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) was up over $3 at $187.80 in the final minutes – IBM’s gain is not on any single event, perhaps just as the investment community decided it is cheap against earnings – even if growth is elusive, other than earnings per share growth driven by cost cutting and stock buybacks.