Stock Market Today: Dow Leads Broad-Market Rally as Boeing Soars

Boeing was the best blue chip today after Chinese regulators cleared the 737 Max for flight.

boeing 737 aircraft
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Investors returned to a buying mood following two days of sharp selling, fueling a broad rally that saw every sector close in the green.

Wall Street's mood brightened Thursday after Soumya Swaminathan, chief scientist at the World Health Organization (WHO), said Wednesday that vaccines would likely provide some protection against the omicron variant of COVID-19.

Also in focus was this morning's weekly jobless claims report, which showed initial applications for unemployment rose to 222,000 Thanksgiving week – climbing off the 52-week low of 194,000 hit in the week prior, but below the 240,000 claims expected by economists.

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And notably, the number of people already collecting jobless benefits fell below 2 million for the first time since the week ended March 14, 2020.

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Financials (+3.0%) and industrials (+3.0%) were two of the biggest gainers. The Dow Jones Industrial Average led the other major indexes, surging 1.8% to 34,639 amid strength from Boeing (BA (opens in new tab), +7.5%). The aerospace giant jumped on news that Chinese regulators have given approval for Boeing's 737 Max to resume flights – the last major market to do so.

The S&P 500 Index (+1.4% to 4,577) and the Nasdaq Composite (+0.8% to 15,381) finished notably higher as well.

stock price chart 120221

(Image credit: YCharts)

Other news in the stock market today:

  • The small-cap Russell 2000 surged 2.7% to 2,206.
  • U.S. crude futures rose 1.4% to settle at $66.50 per barrel.
  • Gold futures retreated 1.2% to end at $1,762.70 an ounce.
  • Bitcoin rose 0.6% to $57,022.10. (Bitcoin trades 24 hours a day; prices reported here are as of 4 p.m.)
  • Kroger (KR (opens in new tab), +11.0%) was a big winner post-earnings – good news for the Berkshire Hathaway portfolio. The grocery chain reported higher-than-expected adjusted earnings of 78 cents per share in its third quarter, while revenue of $31.9 billion also surpassed analysts' consensus estimate. KR also upped its full-year earnings per share forecast to a range of $3.40 to $3.50 versus its prior guidance for earnings of $3.25-$3.35 per share. Still, CFRA Research analyst Arun Sundaram kept a Sell rating on Kroger. "KR has performed better than we anticipated since our downgrade earlier this year, partly due to robust eating-at-home trends and rising food prices, but also admittedly from strong execution amid a volatile operating environment," he wrote in a note. "That said, we continue to question the sustainability of recent results, particularly if the top line loses momentum due to inflation receding or volumes declining. Other headwinds include higher shrink/wastage, price investments, wage pressures, higher warehousing/transportation expenses and rising competition
  • Snowflake (SNOW (opens in new tab)) – another Warren Buffett stock – also got a lift after earnings, spiking 15.9%. In its third quarter, the cloud-based data platform recorded adjusted earnings of 4 cents per share on revenues of $334.4 million, both more than analysts were expecting. A major contributor to total revenues was the company's product revenues, which jumped 110.4% year-over-year to $312.5 million. "We see a long trajectory of rapid revenue increases for the next few years fueled by an IT shift to a cloud-centric model, digital transformation, and higher spend on machine learning (ML) and data science," says Oppenheimer analyst Ittai Kidron, who has an Outperform (Buy) rating on the stock.

"Get Ready for Accelerated Disruption"

So says RBC Capital Markets' directors of research in their latest research report "Preparing for Hyperdrive," which explores investing trends.

Among the five themes they see playing out?

There's "The Quest for Immortality," in which numerous factors, from biopharmaceutical innovations to space exploration, extend human life expectancy.

There's also "Artificial Intelligence Activated," in which artificial intelligence becomes an increasingly critical part of most businesses – which brings with it opportunities, but also risks.

One business that seems to have a role across multiple themes is the cybersecurity industry, which will become increasingly critical to governments and corporate entities alike as the world's digital transformation continues.

But many who want to participate balk at the high nominal stock prices in the industry – not a hurdle for all, but certainly for beginner investors and others with little capital to work with. Here, we've analyzed an accessible trio of cybersecurity stocks – each of which have glowing prospects, and each of which trade for less than a hundred bucks per share.

Karee Venema
Contributing Editor, Kiplinger.com

With over a decade of experience writing about the stock market, Karee Venema is an investing editor and options expert at Kiplinger.com. She joined the publication in April 2021 after 10 years of working as an investing writer and columnist at Schaeffer's Investment Research. In her previous role, Karee focused primarily on options trading, as well as technical, fundamental and sentiment analysis.