Dow Jones Industrial Average Ends Higher With Crude; Nasdaq Nabs Record Close

10 Stocks for Put Buyers to Watch

Mar 30, 2017 at 4:26 PM
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After a brief dip at the open, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) quickly reversed course. At its intraday peak, the Dow was up almost 100 points, as economic data -- including an upwardly revised reading on fourth-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) -- impressed and bank stocks soared on a hawkish Fed. Rising oil prices only stoked the bullish flames, with the S&P 500 Index (SPX) climbing back into the black for the month, and the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) notching a record high close.
 
Continue reading for more on today's market, including:

  • Now's the time to buy puts on these 10 stocks, if past is prologue.
  • A $13.3 billion deal in the energy sector sent this oil stock to its worst day ever.
  • Pre-earnings options traders blasted BlackBerry shares.
  • Plus, Bill Ackman's "huge mistake"; Carnival call buyers come out on top; and Lululemon gets pummeled.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA - 20,728.49) closed with a 69.2-point, or 0.3%, gain, with Exxon Mobil's 2% pop pacing the 18 advancers. Eleven Dow stocks finished lower, led by Nike's 1.1% drop, while Cisco shares were unchanged.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,368.06) added 6.9 points, or 0.3%, to move into positive month-to-date territory. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 5,914.34) tacked on 16.8 points, or 0.3%, to settle at its highest mark to date, bringing its winning streak to five days.

Despite the rally in stocks, the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 11.54) rose 0.1 point, or 1.1%.

closing indexes summary 30
nyse and nasdaq stats march 30

5 Items on Our Radar Today

  1. McDonald's said it will start using fresh beef versus frozen for its Quarter Pounders, and will begin cooking the burgers to order. MCD plans to make the shift across all of its restaurants by mid-2018. (Fortune)
  2. A warrant has been issued for the arrest of former South Korean President Park Geun-hye. Park was formally impeached earlier this month, and a Seoul Central District Court judge approved the arrest warrant because "the main charges against her have been verified and as evidence could be destroyed." (Reuters)
  3. Bill Ackman admitted that Pershing Square Capital Management's stake in Valeant Pharmaceuticals -- which cost the hedge fund roughly $4 billion -- was a "huge mistake." 
  4. A quick look at how options traders doubled their money with Carnival calls.
  5. Lululemon's disappointing earnings report and outlook prompted a slew of negative analyst notes -- and sent the shares tumbling to a 12-month low.

corporate earnings march 30
unusual options activity march 30 1

Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Commodities

Oil prices climbed back above the highly watched $50 mark today, amid heightened expectations the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC members will extend their output-cut agreement past June. By the close, crude for May delivery was up 84 cents, or 1.7%, at $50.35 per barrel -- its highest close in three weeks.

A strengthening dollar weighed on gold prices today. At session's end, June-dated gold -- now the most active contract -- was down $8.80, ,or 0.7%, at $1,248 an ounce.

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