Morgan Stanley, IBM, and housing — What you need to know in markets on Thursday

Myles Udland
Markets Reporter

The rally is back on.

After Tuesday’s big intraday swing from record highs to the first red close for the S&P 500 in nine days, stocks staged a furious rally on Wednesday with each of the major equity indexes making record highs as the Dow gained more than 300 points. The Dow also closed above 26,000 for the first time after having crossed that milestone during the morning on Tuesday.

The blue chip index was paced by Boeing (BA) and IBM (IBM), the latter of which reports earnings on Thursday after the bell. Also on the earnings calendar on Thursday will be Morgan Stanley (MS), Bank of New York Mellon (BK), and American Express (AXP).

IBM CEO Gini Rometty. (Ethan Miller | Getty Images)

On the economics side, the December report on building permits and housing starts, along with the weekly report on initial jobless claims, will cross the tape at 8:30 a.m. ET.

Investors will also be keeping an eye on bitcoin (BTC-USD) and other cryptocurrencies, which were deep in the red for much of the day on Wednesday but as of about 5:30 p.m. ET had recovered most of those losses and were pushing higher.

But with Wednesday’s sharp push higher for the market after a messy day on Tuesday, the U.S. equity market will remain the top story. “Looking back on the last six months of the S&P 500’s performance, it’s hard to overstate just how remarkable of a run it’s been,” said Bespoke Investment Group in a note to clients published Wednesday.

The S&P 500 has basically gone up and to the right for six months. Quite a run. (Source: Yahoo Finance)

“There’s hardly been any downside pressure at all,” the firm writes, noting that the only periods since 1928 that stacks up to what we’ve seen in markets recently took place from 1964-1966.

Bespoke adds that, “We often hear from people who are amazed at how sanguine the market can be in the midst of all the headlines surrounding Washington and the state of geopolitical affairs, but in the 1960s, the US saw more than a little bit of geopolitical and political turmoil as well!

“And just like today, in the 60s we saw long periods where the market did nothing but go up. This is a reason we always note that politics and investing don’t mix!”

Myles Udland is a writer at Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter @MylesUdland

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