Dow Extends Massive Rally on Walmart, Cisco Earnings; Ethereum and Stellar Outperform Crypto Peers

The Dow and broader U.S. stock market surged on Thursday after Walmart and Cisco reported better than expected quarterly earnings, allaying concerns over a sharp slowdown in corporate profits. A tighter jobs market helped offset fears that a prolonged trade war with China would undercut the U.S. recovery engine.

Dow, S&P 500, Nasdaq Extend Relief Rally

Wall Street’s major indexes all reported gains on Thursday, extending their relief rally to three days. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 214.66 points, or 0.8%, to close at 25,862.68. The index was up by as much as 309 points earlier in the day.

Dow Jones Industrial Average

Dow blue chips Walmart Inc. (WMT) and Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) were among the top performers after both companies reported quarterly earnings that were higher than expected.

The broad S&P 500 Index of large-cap stocks gained 0.9% to 2,876.32. All 11 primary sectors reported gains, with materials stocks leading.

The technology-focused Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 1% to finish at 7,898.05.

U.S. Jobs Market Tightens

If layoffs are a proxy for labor-market health, then it’s safe to conclude that the United States is on firm footing. On Thursday, the Labor Department said initial jobless claims fell by 16,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 212,000. Analysts in a median forecast called for a drop to 220,000.

Employers added a robust 263,000 new workers to payrolls last month, vastly outperforming expectations. The unemployment rate fell to 3.6%, a nearly 50-year low.

The U.S. housing market also showed signs of recovery in April as groundbreaking and permit activity rose. Housing starts climbed 5.7% in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.235 million, the Department of Commerce reported Thursday. Building permits, which are a proxy for future construction plans, climbed 0.6% to a seasonally adjusted 1.296 million-unit pace.

Government and private-sector data on home sales will be released next week. A report on durable goods orders will also make headlines.

Ethereum, Stellar Lead Crypto Markets Higher

Following another bout of crypto euphoria, digital asset trading was mostly mixed on Thursday, as bitcoin (BTC) fell and Ethereum and Stellar rose sharply.

Ether peaked near $274.00, its highest since August. By late afternoon, it had given back a big chunk of its gains but was still trading north of $260.00, up more than 9% on the day.

Stellar surged, plunged and then rebounded sharply on Thursday. It was last seen trading at $0.1397, up 11.7%. Read more: Despite Brief Network Failure, Stellar XLM Pumps Toward New 2019 High.

Bitcoin’s price declined 3.2% to 7,893.85 as capital cycled out of the largest cryptocurrency toward altcoins and tokens. The BTC dominance rate fell to 56.4% from a recent peak of around 60%.

The total cryptocurrency market capitalization fell to around $247 billion on Thursday from a recent high near $264 billion.

Disclaimer: The author owns Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock. Charts via and CoinMarketCap.

Chief Editor to and Contributor to, Sam Bourgi has spent the past nine years focused on economics, markets and cryptocurrencies. His work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Avid crypto watchers and those with a libertarian persuasion can follow him on twitter at @hsbourgi