Stocks Run Higher as Fed Meeting Kicks Off; Trump UN Speech in Focus

The Dow extended its streak of record closes

Josh Selway
Sep 19, 2017 at 4:26 PM
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It was yet another positive session for U.S. stocks, as traders focused on the beginning of the Federal Open Market Committee's (FOMC) September meeting. The central bank isn't expected to lift interest rates until December, but could detail plans to unwind its massive balance sheet. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) enjoyed a sixth straight record close, and ended higher for the eighth day in a row. The S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (COMP) also managed record closing highs, but fell short of touching all-time intraday peaks. Aside from the Fed meeting, investors kept a close eye on housing data, as well as President Trump's speech in front of the United Nations (U.N.) General Assembly, where he said the U.S. would "totally destroy" North Korea if it has to defend itself or its allies. 

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

  • The best stocks and sectors for Fed week. 
  • Why put traders are bearing down on these toy stocks.  
  • Short interest just doubled on this Chinese tech stock
  • Plus, an options trader scores big on telecom buyout buzz; analysts predict new highs for Apple; and a big Tesla bear note. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA - 22,370. 80) was higher from start to finish, rising 39.5 points, or 0.2%, for its eighth straight win and sixth consecutive record close. The DJIA peaked at an all-time best of 22,386.01 in intraday trading. Seventeen of 30 Dow stocks closed in the black, led by a 2.6% surge from Verizon shares, which rallied amid M&A chatter in the telecom sector. Of the 13 losers, UnitedHealth had the worst day, shedding 1.8%. 

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,506.65) extended its own streak of record closes to three, finishing up 2.8 points, or 0.1%. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 6,461.32) grabbed a record close, too, thanks to a 6.7-point, or 0.1%, win. 
 
The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 10.18) rose despite stocks' gains, adding 0.03 point, or 0.3%. 

Closing Indexes Sept 19
NYSE and Nasdaq Stats Sept 19

5 Items on Our Radar Today

  1. Mexico today was hit with a 7.1 magnitude earthquake. The quake comes on the anniversary of a historic earthquake the hit Mexico City in 1985, and two weeks after the country was hit with an 8.2 magnitude quake. (Los Angeles Times)
  2. Fiat Chrysler today announced it's recalling almost 500,000 Ram pickup trucks due to fire concerns. The company said there have been no reported injuries related to the issue thus far. (CNBC)
  3. How one option bull profited from the T-Mobile-Sprint M&A buzz. 
  4. An analyst eyes record highs for Apple stock. 
  5. Inside today's big Tesla bear note

Corporate Earnings Sept 19
Unusual Options Activity Sept 19
Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Commodities

Oil prices pulled back today, ahead of tomorrow's weekly inventories data and Friday's meeting of major oil producers. By the close, crude dated for October delivery was down 43 cents, or 0.9%, at $49.48 per barrel. 

Gold fell for a third straight session today, but only slightly. December-dated gold futures shed 20 cents, or 0.02%, to end at $1,310.60 per ounce. 


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