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Stock Market News for July 21, 2017

Deal between Sears and Amazon weighed on home improvement retailers on Thursday. This in turn dragged the Dow and the S&P 500 lower. The Nasdaq, however, bucked the declining trend and posted its first 10-day winning streak since Feb 2015. Such a stellar rally was supported by Microsoft that rose 0.5% ahead of its Q2 results. Broad-based gains in biotech stocks also helped the tech-laden index hit a record closing high.

For a look at the issues currently facing the markets, make sure to read today’s Ahead of Wall Street article.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) declined 0.1% to close at 21,611.78. The S&P 500 also dropped a meagre 0.02% to finish at 2,473.45. On the other hand, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index increased 0.1% to close at 6,390. Advancing issues, meanwhile, outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,449 to 1,357. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Sears/Amazon Deal, Home Improvement Retailers Bleed

Sears Holdings Corp’s SHLD shares climbed 10.6% after it had launched Kenmore appliances on Amazon.com Inc. AMZN. Sears, which has been dealing with consistently slumping sales for years, will now have access to Amazon’s massive customer base—its largest potential pool outside of its own brick-and-mortar stores. The company also announced that it will be integrating Amazon’s Alexa technology into its new line of appliances.

Sears CEO Eddie Lampert said that “we continuously look for opportunities to enhance the reach of our iconic brands to more customers and create additional value from our assets”. He added that “the launch of Kenmore products on Amazon.com will significantly expand the distribution and availability of the Kenmore brand in the U.S” (read more: Why Is Sears Skyrocketing Today?).

The news dragged other appliance retailers like Home Depot Inc HD, Lowe's Companies, Inc. LOW and Best Buy Co Inc BBY lower. Appliance maker Whirlpool Corporation WHR wasn’t spared either and closed in the red. This put a drag on both the Dow Jones and the S&P 500.

Nasdaq Continues its Winning Run

The Nasdaq closed higher for a 10th straight day, helped by gains in Microsoft Corporation MSFT and biotech stocks. Microsoft is due to report results after the closing bell. Shares of the tech-behemoth gained momentum on expectations of better-than-expected quarterly results, banking on strong cloud performance and tax benefits.

In the meantime, the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB) closed up 1%, which also helped the Nasdaq move north.  The sector is on the verge of its next major leg higher and the key catalyst could be Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. VRTX. The company has already reported positive phase 1 and 2 results for its treatment in patients with Cystic Fibrosis.

Stocks That Made Headlines

AB InBev Expands in Organic Space with Hiball's Buyout

Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV BUD is on track to acquire Hiball in order to widen its organic product assortments. (Read More)

GATX Corp Q2 EarningsTop, Revenues Lag, View Intact

GATX Corporation GATX reported better-than-expected earnings per share but lower-than-expected revenues in the second quarter of 2017. (Read More)

Encana's Q2 Earnings & Revenues Top Estimates, Up Y/Y

Encana Corporation ECA reported second-quarter 2017 operating earnings per share, ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate. (Read More)

Will You Make a Fortune on the Shift to Electric Cars?

Here's another stock idea to consider. Much like petroleum 150 years ago, lithium power may soon shake the world, creating millionaires and reshaping geo-politics. Soon electric vehicles (EVs) may be cheaper than gas guzzlers. Some are already reaching 265 miles on a single charge.

With battery prices plummeting and charging stations set to multiply, one company stands out as the #1 stock to buy according to Zacks research.

It's not the one you think.

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GATX Corporation (GATX): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Whirlpool Corporation (WHR): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Anheuser-Busch Inbev SA (BUD): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Home Depot, Inc. (The) (HD): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Lowe's Companies, Inc. (LOW): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Microsoft Corporation (MSFT): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (VRTX): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Encana Corporation (ECA): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Best Buy Co., Inc. (BBY): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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