Oil Surge Lifts Dow Jones Industrial Average

The Unusual Comeback of 2016's Worst Stocks

Aug 18, 2016 at 4:29 PM
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It was another choppy session for the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), which explored both sides of breakeven multiple times throughout the day. Stocks began the morning lower, weighed down by the latest Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting minutes and a negative earnings reaction for blue chip Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO). However, encouraging earnings from fellow Dow stock Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.(NYSE:WMT) and surging crude oil prices ultimately tipped the scales in the bulls' favor. 

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA - 18,597.70) tacked on 23.8 points, or 0.1% by the day's end, after being down more than 40 points at its session low. WMT added 1.9%, leading 19 of the blue-chip stocks higher, while Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT) paced the losers on a 1.2% drop.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,187.02) climbed 4.8 points, or 0.2%. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 5,240.15) finished 11.5 points, or 0.2%, higher.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 11.43) gave back 0.8 point, or 6.2%. 

indexes closing summary august 18A

nyse and nasdaq stats august 18

5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. Members of the U.S. Olympic swimming team are under fire today, after a member of Brazil's law enforcement said Ryan Lochte and three others lied about being robbed at gunpoint in Rio. After noting the four swimmers' accounts of the events did not match up, sources uncovered footage -- which aired on television in Brazil today -- showing the men involved in a scuffle at a gas station around the time they had said the robbery took place. (Reuters)
  2. The Conference Board's index of leading economic indicators rose by more than expected in July. Specifically, the index ticked 0.4% higher, thanks to growth in the manufacturing and construction sectors, compared to expectations for a 0.3% gain. (CNBC)
  3. The insider purchase that sent Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK) stock soaring.
  4. An analyst took aim at new record highs for Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL).
  5. Why this biotech stock gave back more than 50%.

quarterly earnings august 18

unusual options activity august 18
Data courtesy of


Oil prices rose throughout the session, marking a sixth straight day of gains, with traders looking forward to the possibility of production freezes after a meeting of major oil producers in Algeria next month. Investors are also still cheering Wednesday's drop in domestic stockpiles, and October-dated crude -- now the most active contract -- ended the day up $1.37, or 2.9%, at $48.89 per barrel.

Gold also spent the day in positive territory, as traders continued to digest mixed signals from July's Fed meeting minutes, with the weakness in the dollar also helping. For the session, gold for December delivery gained $8.40, or 0.6%, to end at $1,357.20 an ounce.

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