Dow Ekes Out a Win; Harvey Sends Gasoline Futures Soaring

Harvey sent gasoline futures spiking to two-year highs today

Aug 30, 2017 at 4:29 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) traded on both sides of breakeven today, as traders weighed upbeat economic data against simmering geopolitical tensions and the unprecedented destruction of Harvey. Strong reports on GDP and private-sector payrolls countered the ongoing war of words with North Korea, with President Trump once again taking aim at Pyongyang via his Twitter account. Meanwhile, as Tropical Storm Harvey moved across Louisiana's coastline, gasoline futures spiked -- even as crude futures settled lower.

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA - 21,892.43) ended with a gain of 27.1 points, or 0.1%, as 14 of its 30 stocks managed to end higher. Cisco Systems (CSCO) led the advancers with its 1.6% gain, while insurance stock Travelers (TRV) paced the 15 losers with a 1% loss. Merck & Co (MRK) ended the day flat.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,457.59) closed up 11.3 points, or 0.5%, to extend its win streak to a fourth day. Thanks to strength in biotechs, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 6,368.31) gained 66.4 points, or 1%.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 11.22) lost 0.5 point, or 4.1%, and settled at its lowest level since Aug. 8.

Closing Indexes Summary August 30

  NYSE & Nasdaq August 30

5 Items on Our Radar Today

  1. Berkshire Hathaway Chairman and CEO Warren Buffett explained why he hasn't been critical towards President Trump this year, despite his campaign work and fundraising for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election. "I'm not in the business of attacking any president, nor do I think I should be," Buffett said. The billionaire investor added that he's "bought stocks under 14 of the 15" U.S. presidents who have served during his lifetime, with the sole exception occurring during Buffett's early childhood. (CNBC
  2. Seventeen engineers left Apple for startup self-driving car company Zoox Inc., after Apple reportedly reversed on its own plans to make one. The engineers come from the automotive engineering sector of Apple, and are specialists in autonomous and traditional motor vehicles. (Bloomberg)
  3. Another bearish analyst note sent TEVA tanking to new lows.
  4. The catalyst that sent OTIC stock spiraling to a loss of more than 80%.
  5. Novartis scored a landmark FDA approval, but it was a rival's stock that rallied in response.

Corporate Earnings Chart August 30

Unusual Options Activity August 30
Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Commodities

Despite a steeper-than-forecast drop in domestic inventories during the week ended Aug. 25, October-dated crude futures finished down $0.48, or 1%, at $45.96 per barrel -- a one-month low. Conversely, with refineries going offline along the Gulf Coast, gasoline for September delivery popped 5.7% to $1.885 per gallon, marking a new two-year high.

With the U.S. dollar on the rise following solid economic data, gold pulled back. December-dated gold futures finished down $4.80, or 0.4%, at $1,314.10 per ounce.

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