Trump Tax Cut Promise Fails to Lift Dow Jones Industrial Average

2 Drug Stocks Screaming 'Buy'

Apr 21, 2017 at 4:22 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) see-sawed between positive and negative territory, before ultimately ending on a modest loss. Stocks struggled to pick up any meaningful momentum, even after President Donald Trump committed to financial sector deregulation and teased plans for a "massive tax cut" -- which, he speculated, will be "bigger ... than any tax cut ever" -- set to be unveiled next week. Helping to contain stocks was uncertainty ahead of France's presidential election on Sunday, as well as a sell-off in crude oil. Nevertheless, the Dow and its peers managed healthy gains for the week, thanks to a strong start to earnings season.

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

  • 2 drug stocks sending up "buy" signals.
  • Analyst: Mattel won't right its ship for "at least another few quarters."
  • 2 Dow stocks fresh off record highs.
  • Plus, chipmakers with cheap options; one trader piles on Potash; and a drug stock getting drilled. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA - 20,547.76) gave back 31 points, or nearly 0.2%. Eleven of the Dow's 30 stocks settled higher, led by Microsoft's 1.4% gain. Meanwhile, Visa stock was flat, while General Electric paced the 18 losers, tumbling 2.4%. Relative to last Friday's close, the Dow added 0.5%.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,348.69) slid 7.2 points, or 0.3%, but on a weekly basis picked up 0.9%. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 5,910.52) edged down 6.3 points, or 0.1%, but bested its peers with a 1.8% weekly advance.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 14.63) jumped 0.5 point, or 3.4%, but ended the week down 8.3%.

closing indexes summary april 21
nyse and nasdaq stats april 21

5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. San Francisco was hit with a huge power outage this morning. More than 90,000 residents were impacted, while businesses, cable cars, and one BART station had to be closed temporarily. (SFGate)
  2. A U.S. federal judge slapped Volkswagen AG with the largest fine ever for an automaker. The Germany-based company will now have to pay $2.8 billion for rigging its diesel vehicles to pass government emissions tests, and will also be placed on probation for at least three years. (MarketWatch)
  3. Buy AMD and NVIDIA options ahead of earnings.
  4. Inside the six-figure options trade on Potash stock.
  5. The overseas catalyst that crushed this drug stock.

corporate earnings april 21
unusual options activity april 21
Data courtesy of Trade-Alert


Crude prices tumbled today, as a 14th consecutive weekly increase in active U.S. oil rigs stoked fears that efforts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to address the global supply glut will fail. Specifically, June-dated crude futures sank $1.09, or 2.2%, to close at $49.62 per barrel -- below $50 for the first time this month. On the week, the contract plunged 7.4%.

Gold futures edged higher, as investors sought out "safe havens" ahead of the French presidential election. Gold for June delivery tacked on $5.30, or 0.4%, to settle at $1,289.10 per ounce. With today's gains, the precious metal eked out a weekly advance of less than 0.1%.

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