The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 146 points, the S&P 500 increased 14 points, and the Nasdaq rose 60 points.
Dow component Walmart rocketed higher, opening at records, after reporting its ninth consecutive quarterly earnings beat. Revenue surged 4.2% to $123.2 billion over the quarter, higher than consensus of $121 billion. Adjusted earnings of $1 a share beat by 3 cents.
U.S. same-store sales rose 2.7%, while same-store traffic increased 1.5%. U.S. e-commerce sales, an area of focus for the company, grew 50%.
Other supermarket and consumer staples stocks followed Walmart higher, including Costco Wholesale Corp. (COST) , PriceSmart Inc. (PSMT) , Target Corp. (TGT) , Dollar General Corp. (DG) , and Kroger Co. (KR) . The Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLP) rose nearly 1%.
Best Buy Co. (BBY) was shut out of retail gains after missing third-quarter sales estimates and issuing a weak forecast. Earnings of 78 cents a share rose from 61 cents a year earlier and matched analysts' estimates. However, revenue of $9.32 billion fell short of $9.36 billion consensus. Domestic same-store sales gained 4.5%, below targets of a 4.9% rise.
For its fourth quarter, Best Buy expects sales of $14.2 billion to $14.5 billion, in-line with estimates. Adjusted earnings guidance of $1.89 to $1.99 a share fell short of $2.03 consensus.
Cisco was on a tear after the networking giant posted stronger-than-expected earnings in first fiscal first quarter and said revenue will likely snap a long streak of declines as customers spend more on products such as security solutions.
Earnings of 61 cents a share beat out analysts by a penny. Cisco said revenue in its first quarter was led by its "security" sales, which rose 8%, and that it closed its purchased of privately held network forensics security applications provider Observable Networks Inc. The company anticipates second-quarter sales growth of 1% to 2% and adjusted earnings of 58 cents to 60 cents a share.
- Cisco Shares Set to Open at 16-Year High After Security Business Boosts Q1 Sales
- Cisco's Stock Hasn't Been This High Since 2001
Viacom Inc. (VIAB) was also higher on Thursday even after a weaker-than-expected fiscal fourth quarter. U.S. revenue from its key Media Networks business declined, with the group losing subscribers to its MTV and Comedy Central cable networks.
Adjusted earnings of 77 cents a share were up 12% from the same period last year but shy of the FactSet consensus forecast of 86 cents. Revenue was largely in-line with estimates at $3.319 billion, Viacom said, up 3% from last year and taking the full fiscal year tally to $13.263 billion.
J.M. Smucker Co. (SJM) increased more than 3% after topping quarterly profit and sales estimates. The owner of coffee brand Folger's earned an adjusted $2.02 a share over its recent quarter, 12 cents above expectations. Revenue increased 0.5% to $1.92 billion, $30 million above estimates. By segment, U.S. retail coffee sales were flat, and consumer foods fell 5%, while retail pet foods increased 4%.
Outside of earnings, Wall Street has its eyes on tax reform as the GOP's plan faces its first big test with a vote in the House. GOP leaders in the House said they were confident they have the votes to pass the bill. The proposed bill will likely pull between 225 and 230 Republican votes, according to estimates from The Hill. The bill needs 218 votes to pass.
However, Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin potentially threw up a roadblock to tax overhaul after he became the first Republican senator to say he opposed his party's tax legislation. The Senate is expected to vote on its tax plan early next month.
Preliminary results issued last month by P&G showed that Peltz had just under 50% of the vote, or roughly 49.8%. Final result tabulations by IVS Associates Inc., P&G's inspector of elections, however, showed that Peltz narrowly won.
RH (RH) surged nearly 20% after upping its third-quarter and full-year guidance, crediting its "dramatically more efficient" operations. The company anticipated third-quarter net revenue to rise by 8% and for adjusted earnings of $1.02 to $1.04 a share, up from its previous range of 68 cents to 80 cents. For the full year, the home goods company anticipates net income of $82 million to $87 million, above a previous range of $70 million to $77 million.
Updated from 9:36 a.m. ET, Nov. 16.
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