Investor Sentiment Increases Following Economic Reports; Dow Jumps Over 200 Points – Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), M.D.C. Holdings (NYSE:MDC)

The CNN Money Fear and Greed index showed an improvement in overall market sentiment, but the index remained in the “Greed” zone on Thursday.

U.S. stocks closed higher on Thursday, with the Dow Jones index gaining more than 200 points, snapping a three-day losing streak.

Apple Inc. AAPL shares gained around 3.3% on Thursday after B of A Securities analyst Wamsi Mohan upgraded the stock from Neutral to Buy and raised the price target from $208 to $225. Shares of M.D.C. Holdings, Inc. MDC jumped over 18% on Thursday after the company announced Sekisui House would acquire it.

On the economic data front, U.S. initial jobless claims fell by 16,000 to 187,000 in the week ending January 18, compared to market estimates of 207,000. Housing starts fell 4.3% month-over-month to an annualized rate of 1.46 million in December, while building permits increased by 1.9% to an annual rate of 1.495 million in December.

Most sectors on the S&P 500 closed on a positive note, with information technology and communication services stocks recording the biggest gains on Thursday. However, utilities and real estate stocks bucked the overall market trend, closing the session lower.

The Dow Jones closed higher by around 202 points to 37,468.61 on Thursday. The S&P 500 rose 0.88% at 4,780.94, while the Nasdaq Composite rose 1.35% at 15,055.65 during Thursday’s session. Both the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 are up by 0.30% and 0.23%, respectively, in 2024.

Investors are awaiting earnings results from State Street Corporation STT, Schlumberger Limited SLB, and The Travelers Companies, Inc. TRV today.

At a current reading of 66.1, the index remained in the “Greed” zone on Thursday, versus a prior reading of 61.4.

What is CNN Business Fear & Greed Index?

The Fear & Greed Index is a measure of the current market sentiment. It is based on the premise that higher fear exerts pressure on stock prices, while higher greed has the opposite effect. The index is calculated based on seven equal-weighted indicators. The index ranges from 0 to 100, where 0 represents maximum fear and 100 signals maximum greediness.


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