Here are five things you must know for Thursday, Jan. 18:
1. -- Wall Street Catches Its Breath
The Dow Jones Industrial Average soared 322 points on Wednesday, Jan. 17, finishing above 26,000 and setting a new record close. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq also finished at new record highs.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.25% to finish at 26,115. Pacing the Dow's gains were tech giants Intel Corp. (INTC - Get Report) , International Business Machines Corp. (IBM - Get Report) and airplane maker Boeing Co. (BA - Get Report) .
The S&P 500 rose 0.94% and the Nasdaq jumped 1.03%.
Morgan Stanley (MS - Get Report) shares rose 1.5% in premarket trading after the investment bank posted fourth-quarter adjusted earnings of 84 cents a share, topping forecasts that called for 64 cents.
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2. -- Apple Pumps Up the U.S. Economy
Apple Inc.'s (AAPL - Get Report) move to pump about $350 billion into the U.S. economy over the next five years marks not only the biggest domestic corporate investment program in history but also may provide further price support for record-high stocks as companies use the recently passed tax overhaul to repatriate trillions in overseas cash.
Apple unveiled plans to pay a tax bill of around $38 billion on an undefined portion of its $252.2 billion overseas cash pile on Wednesday while announcing plans to spend $30 billion on both existing company sites and a new campus that will be "powered entirely by green energy." The iPhone maker also said it would increase its headcount by around 20,000 and said its overall contribution to the U.S. economy will top $350 billion over the next five years.
Apple also is expected to use that cash to buy back stock and pay fatter dividends. The buybacks could serve up a major jolt to Apple's bottom line, said investment bank RBC Capital Markets.
"Assuming Apple does the buyback at an average price of $190, this could add an incremental $3 to $11 in estimated earnings," says Amit Daryanani, who was quick to point out that Wall Street was only estimating Apple's earnings this year at $11.61 a share.
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Apple shares rose 0.3% in premarket trading on Thursday after closing up 1.65% to $179.10 on Wednesday.
3. -- Tesla Rallies as Model 3 Gets Glowing Reviews
After dipping slightly in early January because of disappointing Model 3 delivery figures and commentary, shares of Tesla Inc. (TSLA - Get Report) have risen about 11% since the Jan. 4 close, easily outpacing the Nasdaq's 3% gain over that time.
The rally seems to have much to do with the fact that more reviewers have finally been able to take the Model 3 for a spin, and that some consumers have finally been able to step inside of one at a Tesla showroom, wrote TheStreet's Eric Jhonsa. Both groups seem to like what they see.
While a few columns describing initial Model 3 impressions came out shortly after the sedan's launch event on July 28, a slew of additional reviews have arrived this month. Road & Track, Autoweek and USA Today were among the publications with new reviews. And while the car's uber-minimalist interior -- everything that one would normally see via an instrument cluster is shown on the Model 3's 15-inch touchscreen -- yielded mixed reactions, the reviews were quite positive, if not glowing, in most other respects.
Tesla shares rose 2.1% on Wednesday to close at $347.16. The stock fell slightly in premarket trading on Thursday.
4. -- China's Economy Grows by 6.9% in 2017
China's economy grew by a faster-than-expected rate of 6.8% in the final three months of 2017, according to official data published Thursday, even as authorities pledged to crack down on debt-fueled growth and excessive pollution in the world's second-largest economy.
China's full-year 2017 growth rate was pegged at 6.9%, according to the National Bureau of Statistics, topping the government's own 6.5% forecast and firmly ahead of 2016's final reading of 6.2%, which was the slowest growth rate in at least 25 years.
Chinese stocks got a boost from the news, with the Shanghai Composite Index finishing Thursday's session with a gain of 0.87%.
5. -- Verizon to Book $17 Billion Gain From Tax Law
Verizon said the tax law signed in December by Donald Trump would result in a one-time reduction in net deferred income tax liabilities of about $16.8 billion.
The telecom giant estimated the tax law, which slashed the corporate tax rate to 21% from 35%, would add $4.10 to earnings per share in 2017.
Verizon shares rose 0.25% in premarket trading on Thursday.
Separately, Verizon reached an agreement with the National Basketball Association that will allow Yahoo users to stream eight basketball games for free. Verizon, which owns Yahoo, also will also have a daily highlights show and may make other original sports programming. It will work with the NBA on fan fantasy experiences, including custom highlights.
This article has been updated to include earnings from Morgan Stanley.