After falling for three consecutive trading days, the materials sector gained strength on Wednesday. The S&P 500 Materials sector rose 0.59% and helped the S&P 500 Index close positive. Alcoa (AA) and Nucor (NUE) were the top gainers in the materials sectors on Wednesday. Alcoa, one of the largest aluminum producers in the world, rose 6.7% on January 18.
Alcoa rose on Wednesday along with US steel and aluminum stocks—supported by comments from Commerce Secretary nominee Wilbur Ross. On Wednesday, he said that a tariff might be required to control aluminum and steel dumping in the US. He also said that the government could play a direct role in matters related to infrastructure.
The S&P 500 Consumer Discretionary sector fell 1.9% on January 18. After the market closed on Wednesday, Netflix (NFLX) posted upbeat fourth quarter earnings. It reported $2.48 billion in revenue in the fourth quarter—better than $1.82 billion during the same period last year. Netflix added 7.05 million new members in the fourth quarter—1.93 million are domestic members and 5.12 million are international. It’s better than the forecast of 5.2 million. Netflix is expected to open higher on Thursday.
The Dow Jones US Select Dividend Index (DJDVP) tracks the performance of major dividend-yielding stocks in the US. On January 18, DJDVP rose 0.21%. On Wednesday, Fastenal (FAST) declared an increased dividend. The quarterly dividend rose 6.6% from $0.30 per share to $0.32 per share. It pushed Fastenal to the highest levels since August 2013. On January 18, Fastenal rose as high as $51.56 and closed the day at $51.06—a gain of 5.8%