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Stocks Rise as the Government Shutdown (Temporarily) Ends

The government shutdown wasn't exactly holding the stock market back, but a temporary deal to end it didn't hurt.

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The S&P 500 index, up more than ten percent since the shutdown began on Dec. 22, rose 0.85 percent today, though much of the gain happened before the deal between the White House and Congress was announced.

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Stock prices were strong across the market with technology shares leading the way. The Dow was up 0.75 percent while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite index rose 1.29 percent. The Entrepreneur Index™ gained 1.33 percent with just nine of sixty stocks posting losses on the day.

John Hess, son of Hess Corp. founder Leon Hess, reassured OPEC members -- and investors -- that U.S. shale oil producers like his company would not undermine the oil markets this time around.

The CEO of one of the largest U.S. shale oil and gas producers told the world's wealthy gathered at the Davos economic summit that "shale is not the next Saudi Arabia. It is an important short-cycle component." Hess did say that he expected U.S. producers share of global production to increase from roughly six percent to as much as 10 percent by the middle of this decade.

The Hess Corp leader's comments sent the stock up 4.12 percent -- the biggest gain on the Entrepreneur Index™ today. The price of oil is up 26 percent since Christmas Eve and Hess shares are up 46 percent over that same period.

Twitter had the biggest gain in the technology sector, rising 4.08 percent. All four FAANG stocks on the index were up with Netflix, (3.48 percent), rising the most. Other good gains were posted by Facebook, (2.18 percent), Cognizant Technology, (2.79 percent) and Analog Devices, (3.08 percent).

Ford Motor Co. posted a gain of 3.02 percent today after CEO Jim Hackett gave employees a pep talk via email. He told them to "bury the year 2018 in a deep grave and become super-focused on this year's plan." Ford's stock has been languishing for the last six months, but is up 16 percent so far this year.

Other good gains on the index included Wynn Resorts, (3.6 percent), Alexion Pharmaceuticals, (2.99 percent) and Under Armour Inc. (3.38 percent). REIT SL Green Realty Corp. was also up 3.34 percent after reporting strong earnings this morning.

Homebuilder D.R. Horton was only one of nine stocks on the Entrepreneur Index™ in the red today. It fell 2.61 percent after reporting disappointing earnings this morning. The largest U.S. homebuilder slightly topped revenue estimates but missed on earnings. CEO David Auld said that falling mortgage rates should help make homes more affordable for buyers going forward, but investors are still worried about the housing market. Existing home sales in the U.S. dropped a whopping 6.4 percent in December, their lowest level in three years.

D.R. Horton is down 26 percent in the last twelve months but is up 7.6 percent so far this year.

Comcast had the second biggest loss on the index, dropping 1.27 percent. The stock was up sharply in the past two days after the company reported strong earnings on Wednesday. Other declines on the index today included Walmart, (-1.44 percent), Capital One Financial, (-0.7 percent) and O'Reilly Auto Parts, (-0.74 percent).

The Entrepreneur Index™ collects the top 60 publicly traded companies founded and run by entrepreneurs. The entrepreneurial spirit is a valuable asset for any business, and this index recognizes its importance, no matter how much a company has grown. These inspirational businesses can be tracked in real time on

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