Here Are 4 Hot Things to Know About Stocks Right Now

  • Tilray (TLRY) mania continued with shares trading as high as $300 before pulling back sharply among repeated trading halts.
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average  is rallying to highs not seen since January when it closed at an all-time high of 26,616.71.
  • U.S. housing starts in August jumped 9.2% from July's pace.
  • Tesla Inc. (TSLA)   rose 5%, rebounding from declines on Tuesday following news the company was facing a criminal probe following statements from CEO Elon Musk.

Wall Street Overview

Stocks ended mostly higher on Wednesday, Sept. 19, amid signs the U.S. and China could be prepared to broker an agreement in their ongoing trade war.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average   rose 159 points, or 0.6%, to 26,406, within shouting distance of its all-time high of 26,616.71. The S&P 500  rose 0.1%, and the Nasdaq  fell 0.1%.

China's decision to retaliate with tariffs of 5% on $60 billion of U.S. imports, following Donald Trump's move to add levies of 10% on $200 worth of goods coming the other way, both fell short of investor expectations and, if managed by the two sides correctly, shouldn't have a significant impact on economic growth or corporate profitability.

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West Texas Intermediate crude oil rose 1.29% to $70.75 a barrel on Wednesday after crude inventories fell by 2.1 million barrels last week. 

In economic data, U.S. housing starts in August jumped to a 1.282 million seasonally adjusted annual rate, 9.2% higher than July's pace and 9.4% higher than a year earlier.

Tesla Inc. (TSLA)   rose 5%, rebounding from losses suffered Tuesday on a report that said the Department of Justice was opening a fraud investigation into the electric vehicle company over CEO Elon Musk's "funding secured" tweet he made in early August.

The Justice Department inquiry came after the Securities and Exchange Commission launched a formal investigation into Musk's tweet shortly after he made it.

Tesla said Tuesday it hadn't received any formal legal requests from the DOJ, but did say it received a voluntary request for documents.

"Last month, following Elon's announcement that he was considering taking the company private, Tesla received a voluntary request for documents from the DOJ and has been cooperative in responding to it," a Tesla spokesperson, who declined to be named, said in a statement. "We have not received a subpoena, a request for testimony, or any other formal process. We respect the DOJ's desire to get information about this and believe that the matter should be quickly resolved as they review the information they have received."

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT)  raised its quarterly dividend by 9.5% to 46 cents a share from 42 cents. The stock, a holding in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS portfolio, fell 1.3%.

Tilray Inc. (TLRY) , the Canadian cannabis company, saw wild swings Wednesday, rising as high as $300 before retreating amid several trading halts to end the day at $217.75, up 40.5%. The company received approval from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to import pharmaceutical-grade medical cannabis for a clinical trial. Tilray is the first Canadian pot company to receive approval to import into the U.S.

AutoNation Inc. (AN) said Mike Jackson will step down as CEO in 2019. Jackson, 69 years old, will transition to the role of executive chairman. The board of AutoNation will conduct a search for a new CEO. The stock rose 1.9%.

Red Hat Inc. (RHT)   fell in after-hours trading on disappointing earnings results and forecasts.

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