Earnings Boost Dow Jones Industrial Average; 'Fear Gauge' at 23-Year Low

Caterpillar and McDonald's helped the blue-chip index to a triple-digit win

by Patrick Martin

Published on Jul 25, 2017 at 4:32 PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) finished emphatically higher today, up triple digits, buoyed by strong earnings from McDonald's and Caterpillar. The S&P 500 Index (SPX) joined the Dow in the black, setting a record intraday high in the process. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP) enjoyed a win as well, also touching an all-time high, despite Google parent Alphabet's subpar earnings. Elsewhere, traders digested oil's biggest one-day gain this year, the by-a-nose Senate vote to debate an Obamacare repeal, and the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) -- or the stock market's "fear gauge" -- falling to a 23-year low, and extending its record streak of single-digit closes. 

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

  • The FAANG competition that sent this stock to new lows.
  • How options traders are preparing for Facebook earnings.
  • 2 sports stocks slammed by analysts.
  • Plus, the big oil bounce; analyst attention for Apple; and the automaker about to report earnings.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA - 21,613.43) added 100.3 points, or 0.5%. Of the 30 Dow stocks, 22 ended positive, led by a 5.9% gain for Caterpillar stock, its second-straight session leading the Dow. 3M Company was the biggest loser, dipping 5.1%.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,477.08) added 7.2 points, or 0.3%. It touched an intraday high of 2,481.24. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 6,412.17) added 1.4 points. It reached a new intraday high of 6,425.45

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 9.43) broke even, but still ended below 10 for the ninth straight session, and touched a 23-year low of  9.04.

Closing Indexes Summary July 25
NYSE and Nasdaq Summary July 25

5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. Greece returned to the bond market for the first time in three years. The country -- once the talk of "Grexit" speculation -- priced 3 billion euros of new five-year bonds, at a 4.625% yield, and the well-received auction helped the euro muscle higher against the dollar. (Marketwatch)
  2. Chipotle has been put under scrutiny once again for the recent norovirus outbreak possibly being a result of an unenforced sick policy. A current employee, alleged through Reddit, said that although they were ill, they were forced to stay for their shift by a manager at a Missouri location. (CNBC)

  3. These options traders aren't buying the oil bounce.

  4. Analysts expect record highs for Apple stock.

  5. How options traders are playing this automaker's earnings.

Corporate Earnings Chart July 25
Unusual Options Activity July 25
Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Commodities

Crude oil enjoyed another jump today -- its biggest one-day gain this year -- after Nigeria added itself to Saudi Arabia's promise to reduce oil output. September-dated oil futures rose 3.3%, or $1.55, settling at $47.89 a barrel.

Gold futures fell for the second day in a row -- the first consecutive losses in three weeks -- with August-dated gold ending $2.20, or 0.2%, lower at $1,252.10 per ounce. This fall comes just before a mid-week policy update is expected from the Fed. 



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