On The Fly: Top stock stories for Wednesday

Stocks opened higher and appeared to begin following yesterday’s pattern of giving up their early gains. Before the averages turned red, though, they gathered themselves and then tacked on gains throughout the day. There was little to account for today’s advance except investor optimism over what the tax reform bill will mean to corporate earnings. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., industrial production jumped 0.9% last month, with capacity at 77.9%, which was better than the 0.2% growth forecast for December. The NAHB homebuilder sentiment index fell 2 points to 72 in January after jumping to 74 in December. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of Apple (AAPL) gained 1.65% after the U.S. tech giant announced new U.S. investments, saying that its direct contribution to the U.S. economy will be more than $350B over the next five years. The company said it plans to establish an Apple campus in a new location in the U.S. later this year, adding that it expects to invest over $30B in capital expenditures in the U.S. over the next five years and create over 20,000 new jobs through hiring at existing campuses and opening a new one. The tech giant also said that it anticipates repatriation tax payments of roughly $38B as required by recent changes to the tax law… Juno Therapeutics (JUNO) jumped 52% to $69.25 per share after the Wall Street Journal reported that the company is in talks to be acquired by Celgene (CELG). Several other companies involved in the development of chimeric antigen receptor T cell, or CAR-T, therapies also saw gains following the report, including bluebird bio (BLUE), Bellicum Pharmaceuticals (BLCM) and Cellectis SA (CLLS)… Banks continued their earnings reporting, with Bank of America (BAC) and Goldman Sachs (GS) the latest big names to post their results this morning. Excluding the impact of tax legislation, both reported earnings that topped consensus forecasts. However, BofA shares were fractionally lower and Goldman shares slid nearly 2% following the reports… Boeing (BA) shares built on their strength, adding nearly another 5% in today’s trading. Of note, Bloomberg reported that Brazil opposes a full takeover of Embraer (ERJ) by the U.S. plane maker, and that the country expects Embraer’s talks with Boeing to resume. Embraer later told Bloomberg in an emailed statement that it remains in talks with Boeing, noting that there is no guarantee the talks will result in a transaction. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Goodyear Tire (GT), which rose 2.6% after the company stated that it exceeded its volume expectation with total company growth of 2% in Q4. Also higher was Pure Storage (PSTG), which advanced almost 11% after the stock was upgraded to Overweight at Barclays. Among the noteworthy losers was Ford (F), which dropped 7% after announcing preliminary 2018 guidance that was worse than expected. Also lower were shares of Fastenal (FAST), which fell about 6% after the company’s fourth quarter earnings report. INDEXES: The Dow rose 322.79, or 1.25%, to 26,115.65, the Nasdaq gained 74.59, or 1.03%, to 7,298.28, and the S&P 500 advanced 26.14, or 0.94%, to 2,802.56.