Stock Market Today: Brexit Saves the Day? 

Stock Market

Investors enjoyed solid gains in the stock market today. Equities began Thursday’s trading session with a jolt of optimism, following reports that a Brexit deal has been reached.

However, some of that optimism faded as stocks worked into the afternoon, before a late-session bounce came along.

No index performed as well as the Russell 2000, with the iShares Russell 2000 ETF (NYSEARCA:IWM) climbing more than 1.1% on the day.


Of course, the Brexit situation doesn’t have much of an impact on this side of the pond. A few specific companies and currency considerations aside, the Brexit situation is more a storyline than anything else.

It’s one of the few debacles that’s been dragging on longer than the U.S.-China trade war. But now, it appears a deal may be reached. The British Parliament still needs to vote on it — so the drama may very well continue — but at least we’re getting somewhere.

Just as it did not make mega-cap tech stocks and U.S. real estate a long-term sell when the Brexit vote was announced in the summer of 2016 (although it did create quite a burst of short-term volatility), it doesn’t seem that it makes any of those stocks a buy today. Yet here we were, rallying in the morning. Like other events, it’s just something to focus on in the short term.

Let’s look for earnings to take the lead going into the weekend and as we work through a bulk of the reports in the next few weeks.

Movers in the Stock Market Today

Ford (NYSE:F) announced that it will build out its charging network around the continent as it looks to make a larger push into electric vehicles. Of course, Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) is most well-known for its charging stations via the Supercharger Network. However, that hasn’t stopped others from adding stations as well.

Ford is looking to add 35,000 stations at 12,000 locations in North America. Interestingly enough, Ford is partnering with Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) on the installation. The goal also calls for drivers to be able to charge their battery from 10% to 80% in 45 minutes through an Electrify America DC charger.

Winner, winner, Patriot dinner. Raytheon (NYSE:RTN) shares actually fell on the day despite the company winning a new contract with the U.S. Army. The company has been selected to build a new radar for the Patriot missile defense system. Some believe the deal could worth up to $5 billion, as RTN took home the deal over Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) and Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC).

AT&T (NYSE:T) and Sinclair (NASDAQ:SBGI) have reportedly reached a deal that will keep the latter’s stations on AT&T TV and U-Verse. It will also cover the company’s 21 regional sports networks, which Sinclair just recently acquired.

SBGI stock rallied 3%, while T finished higher by 5 basis points.

Earnings Roundup

Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) was an obvious focal point in the stock market today. Shares rallied 2.5%, but slipped well off the after-hours high just over $318. To get there — a roughly 10% boost — NFLX reported its third-quarter results. Earnings beat expectations, while revenue was in line with estimates. Will investors have confidence to bid it higher in the day and weeks to come?

On the flip side, International Business Machines (NYSE:IBM) sank 5.5% after reporting its quarterly figures. While earnings beat estimates, it comes as little surprise that revenue sank 3.9% year-over-year and missed estimates by almost $200 million. Even after the Red Hat acquisition, this company just can’t come up with much growth (and to no surprise).

Honeywell (NYSE:HON) shares lived up to expectations. The stock rallied about 3% after a top-line miss and a bottom-line beat. However, investors were willing to shrug off that revenue shortfall after management gave a boost to its full-year earnings outlook.

They now expect earnings in the range of $8.10-$8.15 per share vs. a prior range of $7.95-$8.15 per share. The midpoint is above consensus expectations of $8.09 per share.

Finally, Philip Morris (NYSE:PM) shares rallied about 1% on the day after beating on earnings. However, revenue of $7.6 billion barely missed analysts’ estimates by $10 million and grew 10%. Cash flow jumped 24%, giving investors some confidence in the company.

There’s been a lot of drama with the stock lately. Particularly after it failed to merge with Altria (NYSE:MO), which owns a big stake in the controversial Juul.

Bret Kenwell is the manager and author of Future Blue Chips and is on Twitter @BretKenwell. As of this writing, Bret Kenwell is long T. 

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