Biotech Boosts COMP to a Win; Dow Drops on Big-Cap Earnings

Crude closed lower ahead of tomorrow's weekly inventories update

Apr 21, 2015 at 4:25 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) spent time on both sides of breakeven today, as traders cheered then jeered the latest round of blue-chip earnings. Elsewhere, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) also headed south after an early stint higher, while the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) managed to outperform its peers, thanks to M&A activity in the biotech sector. Looking ahead, Wall Street will have a chance to digest earnings from a number of tech titans -- including Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) and Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) -- throughout the remainder of this week.

Continue reading for more on today's market, including:

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA - 17,949.59) traded in a 180-point range, before settling with an 85.3-point, or 0.5% loss. Eighteen of the Dow's 30 components closed in the red, paced by Travelers Companies Inc's (NYSE:TRV) 4% plunge. Visa Inc (NYSE:V) led the 12 advancers with its 1% pop.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,097.29) couldn't maintain its footing atop 2,100, dropping 3.1 points, or 0.2%. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 5,014.10), meanwhile, closed back above the 5,000 mark, adding 19.5 points, or 0.4%.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 13.25) shed 0.05 point, or 0.4%, to notch its 10th consecutive close south of 14.

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5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. In a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Department of Justice (DoJ), six U.S. Senators spoke out against the proposed union between CMCSA and TWC. In the letter, the senators wrote, "We hope you'll take a stand for U.S. consumers and businesses and reject Comcast's proposed acquisition." CMCSA and TWC are scheduled to meet with the DoJ tomorrow.(CNN Money)
  2. The Senate will reportedly vote to confirm Loretta Lynch -- who was initially nominated by President Barack Obama on Nov. 8 -- as the next attorney general, and the first African American woman to hold the post. Lynch's confirmation has been held up as Congress debated a separate human-trafficking bill. (Bloomberg)
  3. Tech earnings begin to pick up speed this week, and these 3 notable names are ready to tell all in the confessional.
  4. Pre-earnings option bulls turned out on Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) and McDonald's Corporation (NYSE:MCD).
  5. Upbeat post-earnings analyst attention helped send these two stocks roughly 9% higher -- and one to a record peak.

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Commodities:

Crude oil erased all of yesterday's gains, as traders took profits off the table ahead of tomorrow's weekly inventories update. At the close -- which marked the contract's expiration -- crude for May delivery was down $1.12, or 2%, at $55.26 per barrel.

A cooling greenback and rising tensions in the Middle East helped send gold higher. At session's end, June-dated gold was up $9.40, or 0.8%, at $1,203.10 per ounce.

 

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