Stocks Gain Ground Ahead of Yellen, Inflation Data

Fed Chair Janet Yellen will join her global counterparts on stage tomorrow

Nov 13, 2017 at 4:25 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) started the week on a positive note, as a pre-earnings lift from Home Depot (HD) helped overshadow a staggering loss for General Electric (GE) -- with the stock logging its biggest one-day percentage decline in more than eight years. The S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) also closed modestly higher amid a bare economic calendar, though there's certainly plenty of market-moving events left on this week's docket.

Looking ahead, Fed Chair Janet Yellen tomorrow will join several other global central bank leaders at a conference in Frankfurt, Germany, including European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi. Additionally, retail sales and a pair of key inflation data will be released, while developments surrounding Republicans' tax reform plans will continue to dominate the conversation.

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

  • Buy calls on this retail stock, if history is any guide.
  • Behind Roku stock's explosive options volume.
  • The news that sent this pair of Chinese internet stocks soaring.
  • Plus, the levels to watch on Target this week; overblown Amazon worries shouldn't hurt this delivery stock; and takeover talk hits the toy sector.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA - 23,439.70) tacked on 17.5 points, or 0.07%. Of the 30 Dow stocks, 18 finished higher, led by a 1.1% gain for McDonald's (MCD). GE paced the 12 decliners with its 7.2% loss.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,584.84) closed the session up 2.5 points, or 0.1%. The Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 6,757.60) added 6.7 points, or 0.1%.
 
The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 11.50) closed with a 0.2-point, or 1.9%, gain.

Closing Index Summary Nov 13

NYSE and Nasdaq Nov 13

5 Items on Our Radar Today

  1. President Donald Trump tweeted earlier that U.S. lawmakers should cap the top individual tax rate at 35% and end the individual mandate required in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare. Republicans from both the House and the Senate have released their respective tax plans recently, with the former expected to vote on its proposal this week. (Reuters)
  2. Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates will reportedly invest $80 million in a "smart city" in Belmont, Arizona -- roughly 45 minutes outside of Phoenix. The initiative includes plans for digital infrastructure and schools, and echoes a similar movement in India. (Quartz)
  3. Target stock is trading near several key technical levels ahead of the retailer's Wednesday morning earnings report.
  4. Goldman Sachs called this delivery stock a "buy" citing overblown worries on Amazon's delivery service, among other things.
  5. Hasbro stock surged today on rumors of the toymaker's renewed interest in Mattel.

Corporate Earnings Chart Nov 13

Unusual Options Volume Nov 13
Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Commodities

Crude prices edged higher today, as tensions in the Middle East overshadowed a report by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) that said U.S. shale oil output would increase by 80,000 barrels a day in December. At the close, crude for December delivery was up 2 cents to settle at $56.76 per barrel.

Gold caught a lift today, ahead of this week's release of key inflation data. December-dated gold rose $4.70, or 0.4%, to close at $1,278.90 an ounce.

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