Earnings Optimism Lifts Nasdaq to New High; Dow Jones Industrial Average Ends Lower

The VIX touched its lowest point since 1993

Managing Editor
Jul 24, 2017 at 4:30 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) finished lower today, marking its third straight loss. The S&P 500 Index (SPX) joined the Dow in the red, as traders exercised caution ahead of a Fed meeting later this week. However, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) bucked the trend, notching a record high ahead of a flood of tech earnings -- including Google parent Alphabet's report just after the close. Elsewhere, the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) finished below 10 once again -- extending its record streak to eight -- and earlier fell to its lowest point since 1993.

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

  • Analyst: This soaring drug stock could surge another 67%.
  • The new Amazon rival scoring bullish analyst attention.
  • Bullish options trading is hitting fever pitch ahead of Caterpillar earnings.
  • Plus, the oil stock that sank on earnings; Chipotle's nasty losing streak; and the healthcare stock headed for record highs.  

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA - 21,513.17) shed 67 points, or 0.3%. Of the 30 Dow stocks, only eight ended positive, led by a 1.5% gain for Caterpillar stock. General Electric was the biggest loser for the second straight session, dipping 1.9%.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,469.91) shed 2.6 points, or 0.1%. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 6,410.81) added 23 points, or 0.4%. It reached a new intraday high of 6,417.69

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 9.43) added 0.1 point, or 0.8%, but still ended below 10 for the eighth straight session. Earlier in the session, the VIX fell as low as 9.26 -- its lowest level since December 1993.

Closing Indexes Summary July 24

NYSE and Nasdaq July 24

5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. White House Senior Advisor Jared Kushner confirmed that he had four contacts with Russians during the 2016 election, but stressed that neither he nor anyone else in the campaign colluded with Moscow. Kushner claimed these meetings were insignificant and unmemorable, never contaminating his father-in-law's presidential election. (Bloomberg)
  2. The U.S. Democratic party released a new economic platform, which included plans to tackle rising drug costs and get a "better deal" for American employees. The blueprint also suggested higher standards for large corporate mergers, singling out AT&T's planned purchase of Time Warner, which would allow "behemoths" to run over smaller competitors. (Reuters)
  3. This oil stock struggled to capitalize on good earnings.
  4. The latest analyst bashing beleaguered Chipotle stock
  5. The healthcare stock headed for higher highs.

Corporate Earnings Chart July 24
Unusual Options Activitly July 24
Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Commodities

Oil prices jumped after Saudi Arabia promised to cap oil exports. September-dated crude futures finished Monday up 1.3%, or 57 cents, at $46.34 a barrel.

Amid a stabilizing U.S. dollar, August-dated gold ended its recent six-session win streak. The front-month contract fell 60 cents to settle at $1,254.30 an ounce.

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