Dow Jones Industrial Average Pares Losses; Microsoft Boosts Nasdaq

2 Stocks Squeezing Shorts; Plus, Big, Bullish Buyout Bets

by Celeste Taylor

Published on Oct 21, 2016 at 4:28 PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) spent most of the day fighting back from early losses -- and even briefly turned higher -- struggling against the dollar's eight-month highs and downwardly revised guidance from Dow stock General Electric Company (NYSE:GE). However, earnings beats by fellow blue chips McDonald's Corporation (NYSE:MCD) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) helped to ease the selling pressure, with the latter actually lifting the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) into the black. Elsewhere, San Francisco Fed President John Williams advocated for a "pace of gradual rate increases, preferably sooner rather than later," which reduces the risk of "excessive inflation, asset-market bubbles, and ultimately economic correction and recession."

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA - 18,145.71) lost 16.6 points, or 0.1%, after being down triple digits early in the day. MSFT led the nine Dow winners with a gain of 4.2%, while the 21 Dow losers were led by Verizon Communications Inc (NYSE:VZ), which lost 1.9%. Week-over-week, the Dow gained 0.04%.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,141.16) dropped fractionally, finishing down 0.2 point. For the week, the SPX gained 0.4%. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 5,257.40) gained 15.6 points for the day, or 0.3%, while notching a weekly win of 0.8%.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 13.34) fell 0.4 point, or 3%, for a weekly loss of 17.2%.

Closing Indexes Summary October 21
NYSE and Nasdaq Stats October 21


5 Items on Our Radar Today

  1. East Coast users of several major websites suffered downtime today, after infrastructure provider Dyn was the subject of a series of troubling cyber attacks. Websites affected included Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR), Reddit, Airbnb, Spotify, and others, with Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) reporting similar issues. The FBI and U.S. Department of Homeland Security are currently investigating. (Reuters)
  2. McDonald's Corporation (NYSE:MCD) reported an earnings beat this morning, sending shares surging. Although year-over-year earnings were down, the fast food giant still came in ahead of analyst expectations. (CNBC)
  3. One natural gas company got a lift after discovering a huge new oil field.
  4. Can Visa Inc (NYSE:V) pull off an American Express-style earnings beat?
  5. Why now might be the time to invest in Yelp Inc (NYSE:YELP).

Corporate Earnings October 21
Unusual Options Activity October 21
Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Commodities:

December-dated crude futures tacked on 22 cents, or 0.4%, to end at $50.85 per barrel. Russian comments indicating their cooperation with a proposed output freeze boosted black gold, while a stronger dollar and the eighth weekly jump in the active oil rig count tempered oil's gains. Crude oil gained 1% for the week, comparing most-active contracts, for its fifth consecutive weekly gain.

December-dated gold futures made fractional gains for the day, tacking on 20 cents, to end the week at $1,267.70 per ounce. Week-over-week, gold gained 1%, despite a stronger dollar.

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