The Dow inched toward the 20k mark by gaining 114 points on slightly lower volume to close at 19,911. Tech stocks led markets higher as the NASDAQ was up 51 points to 5,463. NASDAQ volume surged as stocks like FaceBook, Amazon and Google look to rebound from post election profit taking.
The NFIB or Nation Federation of Independent Business’s small business optimism index rose 3.5 points to 98.4 which is the highest reading since December 2014. The NFIB looked specifically at pre and post-election small business readings and found several encouraging trends. Job creation plans shot up from 9% to 23%, sales expectations rose from 4% to 20% and hiring plans increased from 10% to 15%. The number of respondents who expected business conditions to improve went from a -6% to +38%.
Boeing announced that due to signs of “near-term purchase hesitation” or NTPH, it would cut 777 production from 7 planes per month to 5 planes per month. The company also said it was increasing its common stock dividend by 30% and renewing its share repurchase agreement.
Oil prices were flat with WTI crude at $52.81 and gold was off $4.90 an ounce to $1,160. The Federal Reserve begins its open market committee meeting today and sometime tomorrow we should have the results of any interest rate policy actions. It is expected that the Feds will increase rates by at least a quarter point.