Here Are 3 Hot Things to Know About Stocks Right Now

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up after New York Federal Reserve President John Williams said "it pays to act quickly to lower rates at the first sign of economic distress."
  • Netflix (NFLX - Get Report) shares tumbled after the streaming service said it lost U.S. customers and added much fewer-than-expected new subscribers in markets around the world. Netflix is Real Money's Stock of the Day.
  • Shares of UnitedHealth Group (UNH - Get Report)  fell as CFO John Rex said that 2019 revenues would be "at or just slightly below" the forecast range of $243 billion to $245 billion.

Wall Street Overview

Stocks staged a comeback late Thursday and ended a three-day losing streak after a federal reserve official called for a fast response to economic distress.

"When you have only so much stimulus at your disposal, it pays to act quickly to lower rates at the first sign of economic distress," New York Federal Reserve President John Williams in a speech at a research conference in New York.

Investors started buying on hopes the central bank will take a more aggressive stance to ease monetary policy during its July 30-31 meeting, but they still had to contend with some disappointing earnings reports.

The Dow, which had been down over 100 points, ended up 3 points, or 0.01%, to 27,222.97. The S&P 500 advanced 0.36%, at 2,995.11, while the Nasdaq climbed 0.27% to 8,207.24.

IBM was the Dow's top gainer, after Big Blue reported second-quarter earnings that came in ahead of expectations, while Philip Morris (PM - Get Report) led the S&P 500 after the cigarette maker reported second quarter top- and bottom-line beats while also raising its full year guidance. IBM ended up 4.6% to $149.63, while Philip Morris finished up 8.1% to $87.63.

Netflix  (NFLX - Get Report) shares tumbled 10.3% to $325.21 after the streaming service said it lost U.S. customers, and added significantly fewer-than-expected new subscribers in markets around the world, as it increased prices and competitors began to move into the online entertainment space. Netflix, the biggest laggard on the Nasdaq and the S&P 500, is Real Money's Stock of the Day.

UnitedHealth Group (UNH - Get Report)  , the Dow's biggest laggard, fell 2.3% to $260.44, despite posting  stronger-than-expected second quarter earnings and boosting its full-year outlook after CFO John Rex said that 2019 revenues would be "at or just slightly below" the forecast range of $243 billion to $245 billion.

Morgan Stanley ( MS - Get Report) shares rose 1.5% to $44.43 after the firm said that second-quarter profit tumbled by 9% amid a lackluster environment for trading everything from bonds and stocks to commodities and currencies. 
   
Union Pacific ( UNP - Get Report)  posted stronger-than-expected second quarter earnings, even as freight revenue declined, easing investor concern over a trade-related slump in the U.S. transport sector. Shares rose 5.9% to $174.17.
 
Honeywell shares ( HON - Get Report)  rose 3.1% to $173.86 after the company posted stronger-than-expected second quarter earnings and boosted its full-year profit guidance.
 
In economic news, initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose 8,000 to a seasonally adjusted 216,000 for the week ended July 13, the Labor Department said, matching economists' expectations.

Meanwhile, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on CNBC that he and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer will talk with Chinese counterparts Thursday but "complicated issues" remain in the trade war.

In addition, the U.S. leading economic indicators fell 0.3% in June, declining for the first time since December, the Conference Board said, primarily driven by weaknesses in new orders for manufacturing, housing permits, and unemployment insurance claims. 

"As the U.S. economy enters its eleventh year of expansion, the longest in US history, the LEI suggests growth is likely to remain slow in the second half of the year," said Ataman Ozyildirim, director of economic research and global research chair at The Conference Board.

The Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Business Outlook Survey rebounded in July, rising 21.5 points in July and beating the 4.5 consensus forecast.

UnitedHealth Group and Honeywell are holdings in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS member club . Want to be alerted before Jim Cramer buys or sells these stocks? Learn more now.