Dow Jones Industrial Average Cools as Hawkish Syria Talk Rattles Stocks

2 Big Strikes VIX Options Traders are Targeting

Apr 6, 2017 at 4:27 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) was up nearly 100 points at its intraday peak, as stocks reacted to the latest jobs data -- as well as rising oil prices -- ahead of tomorrow's nonfarm payrolls report. The Fed also remained in focus following Wednesday's release of the March meeting minutes, with one official endorsing a decrease in the central bank's massive balance sheet. However, the Dow pared the majority of its gains by the close, as President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping kicked off a two-day meeting, and as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson indicated the U.S. would support a regime change in Syria. The S&P 500 Index (SPX) also pulled back from its session high, but ended modestly higher as consumer discretionary stocks rose.
 
Continue reading for more on today's market, including:

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA - 20,662.95) closed up 14.8 points, or 0.07%, after trading 98 points higher at its intraday peak. Sixteen of the Dow's 30 stocks gained ground, led by Caterpillar's 1.7% advance. Procter & Gamble paced the 14 decliners with its 0.6% loss.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,357.49) fell south of 2,350 in intraday trading, but settled with a 4.5-point, or 0.2%, gain. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 5,878.95) outperformed, ending 14.5 points, or 0.3%, higher.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 12.39) initially popped, but ran out of steam at its 200-day moving average. The market's "fear gauge" eventually settled down 0.5 point, or 3.9%.

closing indexes summary april 6
nyse and nasdaq stats april 6

5 Items on Our Radar Today

  1. After the Senate voted to end a filibuster on Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell took steps to invoke the "nuclear option," which allows for a simple majority to advance the nomination. The Senate is expected to hold the confirmation vote for Gorsuch tomorrow. (CNBC)
  2. Twitter co-founder and board member Evan Williams said he will sell up to 30% of his TWTR stock over the next year, due to "personal" reasons. Twitter stock swung lower on the news. (Business Insider)
  3. A patent dispute settlement sent Jazz Pharmaceuticals stock soaring.
  4. Data suggests "buy" ratings on bank stocks may have just bottomed. 
  5. Advanced Micro Devices shares plunged, after Goldman Sachs rated the stock a "sell" amid increased competition from NVIDIA.

corporate earnings april 6
unusual options activity april 6
Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Commodities

Oil futures advanced for a third day in a row, on hopes that an increase in refinery activity will reduce domestic crude inventories. By the close, crude for May delivery was up 55 cents, or 1.1%, at $51.70 per barrel.

Gold futures advanced, amid growing anxiety over the Trump-Xi meeting and increasingly hawkish rhetoric on Syria. June-dated gold tacked on $4.80, or 0.4%, to settle at $1,248.50 an ounce.

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