Stocks poised for flat open; Netflix rallies after results

U.S. stocks mostly rose on Tuesday, with major indexes inching up to record levels a day after a partial shutdown of the government was ended.

While the shutdown had limited effect on stocks, the end removed an element of political uncertainty from the market, allowing investors to focus more fully on corporate earnings, which have so far been strong, albeit with the variable of the recently passed tax law.

What are the main benchmarks doing?

The Dow Jones Industrial Average
DJIA, -0.02%
fell 30 points to 26,175, a decline of 0.1%. The S&P 500 index
SPX, +0.10%
rose about a point to 2,834, a gain of less than 0.1%. The Nasdaq Composite Index
COMP, +0.44%
was up 28 points, or 0.4%, to 7,434. All three hit records in early trading, even as the Dow subsequently retreated into slightly negative territory.

Read: Stock market headed for nasty surprise if this signal proves correct

Whats driving markets?

After U.S. markets closed on Monday, Congress passed a three-week funding measure that brought a halt to the three-day shutdown, with the bill then signed by President Donald Trump. The agreement keeps the government running up to Feb. 8, though underlying disagreements between the Republicans and the Democrats on immigration and other topics remain.

With that crisis averted for now, there is little to stop stocks from pushing out yet another set of records. Investors who have been buying stocks on the view that the economy is on an upswing were likely cheered by Mondays upbeat global outlook from the International Monetary Fund.

There are no economic data due Tuesday.

Investors were likely to watch for comments from financial and business leaders who are gathering in Davos, Switzerland for the World Economic Forum, which kicked off Tuesday. With a shutdown averted, President Trump is expected to attend and is scheduled to speak on Friday.

Check out: MarketWatchs Economic Calendar

What are strategists saying?

Were just starting to put together the puzzle of how the tax law will impact companies across the economy. Some are showing a significant benefit while others are announcing big write-offs, said Tom Plumb, chief investment officer of Plumb Funds.

Ultimately I think the impact will be positive, and were going to see earnings estimates revised higher, but you do have to be concerned about valuations at current levels. I think any company with recurring revenue streams will continue to reflect a positive trend, but it is hard to say that any part of the market looks inexpensive.

Read: Why ditching stocks in this bull market is a dangerous move

Which stocks are in focus?

Netflix Inc.
NFLX, +10.63%
jumped 9.1% to a record high after it beat forecasts for earnings and new net subscribers. With the gain, the company topped a $100 billion market-capitalization valuation for its first time ever.

Read: Netflix sees sharks approaching from both sides in Apple and Disney

And: Kevin Spacey scandal cost Netflix $39 million

Travelers Cos.
TRV, +3.14%
rose 4% after the insurers revenue and profit beat forecasts.

Procter & Gamble
PG, -2.25%
fell 2.4% after earnings and sales beat forecasts, but income was lower than the same period a year ago.

Verizon Communications
VZ, -0.56%
shares rose 0.2% after a sales beat and tax-reform boost helped offset a miss on profit.

Johnson & Johnson
JNJ, -2.05%
reported an increase in sales for its fourth quarter, largely spurred by its pharmaceutical business, but reported a loss because of effects from the new tax law. Shares fell 1.3%.

Travelers, P&G, Verizon, and J&J are all Dow components.

First Solar Inc.
FSLR, +4.04%
rose 7.2% after the U.S. government approved tariffs on solar-panel imports. Shares of Whirlpool Corp.
WHR, +2.60%
jumped 3% as tariffs were also approved for imported washing machines for home use.

What are other assets doing?

The ICE U.S. Dollar Index
DXY, -0.18%
was unchanged on the day. Mondays U.S. stock gains fueled a rise for European stocks
SXXP, +0.00%
with the German DAX
DAX, +0.54%
jumping to a record high, and Asian markets, which saw 1%-plus gains across several markets. Gold prices
GCG8, +0.09%
were flat, while oil futures
CLG8, +0.46%
were higher.

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