Stock Market Today: Stocks Resume Their Winning Ways

The major benchmarks rebounded from a rare down session to post broad-based gains Wednesday.

stock market today
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Stocks got back on track ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday as encouraging economic data and plunging oil prices more than offset some downbeat reactions to corporate earnings reports.

The market's mood was brightened considerably early in the session by at least a couple of economic reports – durable goods and weekly jobless claims – pointing to a "soft landing" for the U.S. economy

"Stocks are resuming their run as market bulls shrug off yesterday’s selling pressure with this morning’s economic data supporting optimism," said José Torres, senior economist at Interactive Brokers, in a note. "The durable goods and labor data imply that the economy is slowing to a potentially sustainable level rather than falling into recession."

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In addition to the inflation relief seen in durable goods orders, market participants also enjoyed another steep drop in oil prices after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies (OPEC+) delayed a meeting to discuss further production cuts.

The sharp decline in oil prices – U.S. benchmark crude futures fell as much as 5% at one point Wednesday – "further dampens inflationary pressures," Torres notes. 

In corporate news, shares in John Deere (DE) plunged 3.1% after the manufacturer of heavy agricultural machinery offered disappointing earnings and revenue forecasts for fiscal 2024. Meanwhile, shares in Nvidia (NVDA) retreated 2.5% after the chipmaker's forecast failed to eclipse Wall Street's already lofty expectations.

At the closing bell, the blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.5% to finish at 35,273, while the broader S&P 500 gained 0.4% to 4,556. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite rose 0.5% to end at 14,265.

The U.S. stock and bond markets will be closed for Thanksgiving and will host abbreviated sessions on Black Friday

Best cash cow stocks

As investors look to recalibrate and rebalance their holdings for the new year, they would do well to take a closer look at stocks that are real cash cows.  

As Kiplinger contributing writer Mark R. Hake notes, "investors love cash cows – companies that generate consistent free cash flow. These stocks tend to do well over time."

That's because companies with high free cash flow margins can afford to make dividend payments and acquisitions, buy back stock, reduce debt, or just let the cash pile up on the balance sheet

If you're looking for companies that generate impressive free cash flow and put it to good use via dividends, buybacks and more, check out these top cash cow stocks

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Dan Burrows
Senior Investing Writer,

Dan Burrows is Kiplinger's senior investing writer, having joined the august publication full time in 2016.

A long-time financial journalist, Dan is a veteran of SmartMoney, MarketWatch, CBS MoneyWatch, InvestorPlace and DailyFinance. He has written for The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Consumer Reports, Senior Executive and Boston magazine, and his stories have appeared in the New York Daily News, the San Jose Mercury News and Investor's Business Daily, among other publications. As a senior writer at AOL's DailyFinance, Dan reported market news from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange and hosted a weekly video segment on equities.

Once upon a time – before his days as a financial reporter and assistant financial editor at legendary fashion trade paper Women's Wear Daily – Dan worked for Spy magazine, scribbled away at Time Inc. and contributed to Maxim magazine back when lad mags were a thing. He's also written for Esquire magazine's Dubious Achievements Awards.

In his current role at Kiplinger, Dan writes about equities, fixed income, currencies, commodities, funds, macroeconomics, demographics, real estate, cost of living indexes and more.

Dan holds a bachelor's degree from Oberlin College and a master's degree from Columbia University.

Disclosure: Dan does not trade stocks or other securities. Rather, he dollar-cost averages into cheap funds and index funds and holds them forever in tax-advantaged accounts.