Another Win, Record Close for Dow; S&P, Nasdaq Hit New Highs

Wall Street had little to focus on outside of tomorrow's Fed meeting

Josh Selway
Sep 18, 2017 at 4:27 PM
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U.S. stocks continued to rise today, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average grabbing a fifth straight record close and its seventh consecutive win overall. The S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (COMP) both hit record highs as well, with the former ending another day atop the 2,500 level. Bank stocks led the charge ahead of the Federal Open Market Committee's (FOMC) September meeting, which begins tomorrow, though the Fed isn't expected to raise interest rates until December. The risk-on session cooled demand for "safe haven" assets, with gold falling to three-week lows, while the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) briefly dipped into single-digit territory, but closed back atop the all-important 10 level

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

  • Citron: The CEO sending up Bernie Madoff red flags
  • The bank ETF testing a key level ahead of the Fed meeting. 
  • Why Equifax options traders are betting on another 35% drop. 
  • Plus, Alibaba calls options surge; FDA announcement puts tobacco stocks in focus; and traders take action ahead of FedEx earnings. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA - 22,331.35) added another 63 points, or 0.3%, for a fifth straight record close, touching an all-time peak of 22,355.62 in the process. Half of the Dow's 30 components closed higher, with General Electric leading the way with a 2.2% win. Meanwhile, Intel shares closed flat, and Apple closed down 0.8% to pace the losers. 

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,503.87) also enjoyed a record-setting session, picking up 3.6 points, or 0.1%. The SPX hit a record high of 2,508.32 earlier. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 6,454.64) settled up 6.2 points, or 0.1%, after peaking at 6,477.77. 
 
The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 10.15) fell below 10 for the first time since Aug. 8, but closed just 0.02 point, or 0.2%, lower. 

Closing Indexes Summary September 18
NYSEandNasdaq September 18

5 Items on Our Radar Today

  1. Following the lead of AT&T, Sprint will offer a free iPhone 8 for certain trade-ins. The company originally said trade-ins could get customers 50% off their monthly lease rate on the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus. (Reuters)
  2. Initial viewership numbers for last night's Emmy's broadcast on CBS are not looking good. While its total audience should come in higher than last year's record low, the key 18-49 demographic fell 10%. (The Hollywood Reporter)
  3. Call buyers targeted heavily shorted Alibaba stock
  4. The FDA decision that sent put traders to these tobacco stocks
  5. How options traders are playing FedEx earnings

Unusual Options Activity September 18
Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Commodities

It was a ho-hum day for oil prices. October-dated crude futures added just 2 cents, or 0.04%, to end at $49.91 per barrel. 

Gold fell once again, as investors again showed a taste for riskier assets. Gold dated for December dropped $14.40, or 1.1%, to $1,310.80 per ounce -- a three-week low. 


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