Strong Earnings and Big Oil Deal Push Stock Prices Higher

Oil producer Hess Corp. helps the Entrepreneur Index™ post a modest gain.

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By Andrew Osterland • Apr 4, 2019 Originally published Apr 4, 2019

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Good earnings from J.P. Morgan, the country's biggest bank, a new streaming service from media giant Walt Disney Co., and a big acquisition in the energy sector all lifted stock prices today.

The Dow index, the laggard of the three major indexes this year with a return of 13.2 percent, was up 1.03 percent today, led by J.P Morgan and Disney. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite indexes were up 0.66 percent and 0.46 percent respectively. The Entrepreneur Index™ closed the day with a gain of 0.19 percent.

The announcement of a $33 billion deal between Chevron and Anadarko Petroleum got investors in the oil-patch fired up. While Chevron's stock fell 4.94 percent, the rest of the sector soared as the market expects more deals to follow. Oil and gas producer Hess Corp., a major player in the Permian oil shale basin like Anadarko, jumped 4.44 percent -- the biggest gain on the Entrepreneur Index™ today.

J.P. Morgan's strong results reported this morning also lifted the entire financial sector. Capital One Financial (1.83 percent), and investment bank Jefferies Financial Group (2.88 percent) were both up sharply.

Meanwhile, Walt Disney Co. announced it would launch its streaming service Disney+ in November at a price ($6.99/month) significantly less than Netflix. The news sent Disney stock up 11.5 percent. Shares in Netflix, the industry leader who now faces increasing competition, fell 4.49 percent, the biggest decline on the Entrepreneur Index™ today.

The rest of the technology sector was mixed. Content delivery provider Akamai Technologies (2.15 percent) and chip-maker Analog Devices (2.14 percent) had the biggest gains in the sector. TripAdvisor Inc., down 2.39 percent, had the biggest loss.

Fedex Corp. (2.65 percent), Under Armour Inc. (2.15 percent), Wynn Resorts (1.96 percent) and BlackRock (1.85 percent) also had good gains today.

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals was down 2.68 percent. While the biotech sector has been generally strong this year, Regeneron has struggled. The stock's return year-to-date is now just 2.53 percent, compared to 26.02 percent for the S&P Biotechnology Select Industry index and 20.3 percent for the Nasdaq Composite index.

L Brands was also down sharply, falling 2.82 percent. The company, like many in the struggling retail sector, has been the subject of much speculation given the dismal performance of its flagship brand Victoria's Secret. The stock is up 0.6 percent this year.

Other notable declines on the Entrepreneur Index™ today included J.M. Smucker Company (-0.94 percent) and Alexion Pharmaceuticals (-0.89 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 Entrepreneur.com.

Andrew Osterland

Andrew Osterland is a contributing writer for CNBC.com. He specializes in capital markets, personal finance and taxes.

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