Here Are 3 Hot Things to Know About Stocks Right Now

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose Thursday as Wall Street expressed optimism over U.S. and China trade talks. 
  • General Electric Co. (GE)  jumped 7% after JPMorgan analyst Stephen Tusa lifted his rating on the stock to "neutral" from "underweight." -
  • Apple Inc. (AAPL)  said Thursday it would invest $1 billion to build a new campus in Austin, Texas. The stock rose 1%.

Wall Street Overview 

Stocks traded mixed on Thursday, Dec. 13, as Wall Street monitored trade developments between the U.S. and China, the world's two largest economies.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.29%, or 70 points to 24,597, the S&P 500 fell 0.02%, and the Nasdaq slid 0.39%. The Dow climbed as high as 213 points during Thursday's session.

Procter & Gamble Co. (PG) was one of the Dow's best performing stock Thursday, climbing 2.61% during the session after analysts at Bank of America upgraded the multinational consumer products manufacturer to "buy" from "neutral" while also raising its price target to $108 from $95. 

Wall Street finished higher on Wednesday, Dec. 12, as investors cheered progress in U.S.-China trade talks and after a report said China was planning a new program that promised greater access for foreign companies.

The Wall Street Journal reported that China was drafting a replacement for Made in China 2025 - President Xi's blueprint to make the country a leader in high-tech industries - which would play down China's bid to dominate manufacturing and be more open to participation by foreign companies. Reuters, meanwhile, reported that China made its first major purchases of U.S. soybeans since Donald Trump and Xi struck a trade war truce earlier this month.

The European Central Bank said Thursday it would close its controversial bond buying program at the end of the year but plans to reinvest maturing securities for "an extended period of time" as it attempts to keep market rates low amid signs of slowing economic growth.

U.S. jobless claims for the week ended Dec. 8, fell to 206,000 - nearly a 49-year low - from 233,000 a week earlier. Meanwhile, import prices declined 1.6% in November, the biggest decline since August 2015, as oil prices tumbled.

Apple Inc. (AAPL)  rose 1.09% Thursday after the tech giant said it would invest $1 billion to build a new campus in Austin, Texas, and announced plans to establish new sites in Seattle, San Diego and Culver City, Calif.

Apple also said it would expand in Pittsburgh, New York and Boulder, Colo., over the next three years, "with the potential for additional expansion elsewhere in the U.S. over time."

Separately, Apple's suppliers reportedly have considered shifting iPhone production out of China if tariffs reach 25%, according to Bloomberg. Apple and its suppliers plan to stick with their existing production process even if a tariff of 10% is levied on Apple devices manufactured in China. But if those tariffs increase to 25%, as the Trump administration has considered, the companies could shift some production out of China, which has long served as the manufacturing base for iPhones.

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General Electric Co. (GE)  jumped 7.% to $7.18 after JPMorgan analyst Stephen Tusa lifted his rating on the stock to "neutral" from "underweight" -- his first change on the company since May 2016 -- and following an announcement from GE that it was launching a $1.2 billion "internet of things" software company and selling a majority stake in ServiceMax, a field service management software division, to private-equity firm Silver Lake.

U.S. District Judge Richard Leon is likely to block CVS Health Corp. (CVS) from combining with Aetna Inc. at a hearing next Tuesday, the New York Post reported, citing sources close to the case.

The judge griped earlier this month that CVS and Aetna treated him like a "rubber stamp" because they already had closed the $69 billion deal before it arrived at his desk, the Post noted.

"I expect Leon to issue some kind of an injunctive order to keep them from integrating," a source close to the case told the Post.

Networking equipment company Ciena Corp. (CIEN)  jumped 8.6% after it reported fiscal fourth-quarter adjusted earnings of 53 cents a share, beating forecasts of 48 cents. Revenue was $899.4 million vs. estimates of $861.5 million.

Tailored Brands Inc. (TLRD)  tumbled 29.59% after the parent company of Men's Wearhouse and Jos. A. reported third-quarter sales that missed expectations and it reduced its earnings guidance for the year.

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