Dow Jones Industrial Average Scores New High, 8th Straight Win

How to Prepare for a Volatility Pop

Feb 21, 2017 at 4:25 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) notched its eighth straight win, as the Dow, S&P 500 Index (SPX), and Nasdaq Composite (COMP) all finished with new record highs. Traders applauded a round of earnings from big-name retail stocks, including blue chips Wal-Mart Stores Inc (NYSE:WMT) and Home Depot Inc (NYSE:HD), and energy stocks outperformed as oil prices rose. Continued optimism about U.S. President Donald Trump's upcoming tax plan announcement also helped keep stocks in record-breaking territory.

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

  • With the scales tipping toward a VIX spike, here's how to play a volatility pop, according to Schaeffer's Senior V.P. of Research Todd Salamone.
  • retail stocks targeted by bullish options traders.
  • One trader bet on this gold stock to double by 2018.
  • Plus, 3 plunging biotechs, the analyst looking at the iPhone 10, and Yahoo and Verizon renegotiate.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA 20,743.00) added 119 points, or 0.6%, after peaking at 20,757.64 in intraday trading. Among the 30 Dow stocks, 23 finished higher, led by WMT, which tacked on 3%. The six Dow losers were led by Caterpillar Inc (NYSE:CAT), which dropped 0.8%. Pfizer Inc (NYSE:PFE) finished flat for the second session in a row.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,365.38) gained 14.2 points, or 0.6%, after touching a record high of 2,366.71. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 5,865.95) also notched its best close ever, gaining 27.4 points, or 0.5%, after peaking at 5,867.88.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 11.57) added 0.1 point, or 0.7%.

Indexes closing summary February 21
NYSE and NASDAQ stats February 21

5 Items on Our Radar Today

  1. Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE:WFC) announced it had fired four senior managers following the bank's phony account scandals. The board unanimously voted to oust the four senior managers, who will receive no bonus for 2016. (Forbes)
  2. Restaurant Brands International Inc (NYSE:QSR), parent company of Burger King and Tim Hortons, will purchase Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen Inc (NASDAQ:PLKI) for $1.8 billion, or about $79 per share. QSR reportedly plans to expand PLKI's market reach, though the fried chicken chain already boasts 2,000 locations worldwide. (Reuters)
  3. Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) and Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) traded higher after renegotiating their merger agreement.
  4. The analyst looking ahead to Apple Inc.'s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone 10/X.
  5. biotech stocks that plummeted on disappointing drug data.

Quarterly Earnings February 21
Unusual Options Activity February 21
Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Commodities

March-dated crude futures gained 66 cents, or 1.2%, to finish at $54.06 per barrel, after new data from Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) showed compliance among members regarding the output cuts agreed on in January. 

April-dated gold futures dropped 20 cents to $1,238.90 per ounce. The precious metal was pressured lower as expectations for a rate hike next month boosted the dollar.

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