Wall Street’s major domestic equity indexes rose sharply on Thursday, helped out in large part by earnings-related gains in Wal-Mart and Cisco, while a tax bill expected to boost corporate earnings passed its first, if smallest, hurdle.
Wal-Mart gained as much as 11 percent to a record high of $99.68 after reporting its strongest revenue growth since 2009, in combination with rising online sales. The shares ended the day up 10.9 percent at $99.62.
Cisco hit $36.67, its highest point since February 2001, a day after its quarterly earnings exceeded expectations, driven by gains from its newer businesses such as security, which more than offset declines in its traditional switches and routers. Its forecasted earnings number also came in ahead of expectations.
Cisco shares closed 5.2 percent higher at $35.88.
The House voted largely along party lines to pass a tax overhaul expected to be a boost to stock prices if it becomes law, but the legislative battle now shifts to the Senate, where the Republican majority is much slimmer.
Republicans can lose no more than two Senate votes and at least two GOP senators have already spoken against the Senate version of the bill.
The S&P and the Dow posted their largest daily percentage gains in more than two months.
The CBOE Volatility index, the cost of protection against a sudden drop on the S&P 500, posted its first decline in six days. It dropped 1.4 points to end at 11.76.
Barnes & Noble rose 7.6 percent to $7.10 even after the book seller said a deal proposed by an activist investor to take it private was not “bona fide” and doubted the required funds could be raised.
Folgers coffee maker J M Smucker rose 9.5 percent to $116.65 as its sales and profit exceeded analysts’ forecasts.
Viacom fell 3.7 percent to close at $23.69 after the MTV owner said it expected high single-digit declines in revenue from cable TV operators and online distributors in the first half of 2018.
About 6.31 billion shares changed hands in U.S. exchanges, compared with the 6.81 billion daily average over the last 20 sessions. It was among the weakest volume sessions in the past three weeks.