D.C. Drama Sends Stocks Lower

Crude oil snapped its five-week win streak

Nov 17, 2017 at 4:28 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) fell triple digits, with traders spooked on reports special counsel Robert Mueller last month issued subpoenas to President Donald Trump's campaign staffers as part of a larger investigation into Russian collusion in the 2016 U.S. election. Uncertainty over Congress' ability to pass a GOP tax plan only stoked the bearish flames, with the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) paring a portion of Thursday's broad-market rally. And while the benchmarks settled near their session lows, the IXIC managed to hold onto modest weekly gains, though the Dow and SPX weren't so resilient, suffering their first back-to-back weekly losses since August.

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

  • Pre-Fed put buying picked up on this surging gold ETF.
  • 2 red-hot retail stocks that just hit 2017 highs.
  • This bank stock could be a bargain, if history is any guide.
  • Plus, a defensive options trade on retail; Williams-Sonoma sat out the day's retail rally; and Tesla's big reveal.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA - 23,358.24) closed down 100.1 points, or 0.4%. Twenty-two of the Dow's 30 components settled in negative territory, led by 2.2% drops for both Wal-Mart (WMT) and Intel (INTC). Nike (NKE) paced the advancers with its 3.4% gain. For the week, the DJIA gave back 0.3%.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,578.85) shed 6.8 points, or 0.3%, on the day, and 0.1% on the week. Despite ending the session down 10.5 points, or 0.2%, the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 6,782.79) ended the week up 0.5%.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 11.43) settled down 0.3 point, or 2.8%. Week-over-week, the market's "fear gauge" rose 1.2%, marking its second straight weekly win.

Closing Summary Index Nov 17

NYSE and Nasdaq Nov 17

5 Items on Our Radar Today

  1. The American Petroleum Institute (API) said late Friday that U.S. crude production jumped 7% last month on a year-over-year basis. This equates to 9.4 million barrels per day, on average, the highest level for October since 1972. (MarketWatch)
  2. Comcast (CMCSA) is reportedly interested in purchasing Fox assets from Twenty-First Century Fox (FOXA) -- including taking a majority stake in Hulu. The talks echo similar discussions FOXA is having with Disney (DIS), while Verizon Communications (VZ) is also rumored to be a potential suitor.  (Reuters)
  3. One XRT options trader took a defensive stance ahead of the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales events.
  4. Unlike its sector peers, Williams-Sonoma stock slumped after the Pottery Barn parent's dreary forecast was met with negative analyst attention.
  5. Tesla unveiled its highly anticipated electric semi truck last night -- with early orders from one trucking giant -- sending the stock higher on the day.

Corporate Earnings Chart Nov 17

Unusual Options Activity Nov 17
Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Commodities

December-dated crude oil futures closed the session up $1.41, or 2.6%, at $56.55 per barrel, after Saudi Arabia said Russia and the Organization for the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) were dedicated to extending supply cuts. In addition, the closure of a Keystone pipeline in South Dakota bolstered black gold. For the week, though, oil prices gave back 0.3% to leave their weekly win streak at five.

Gold for December delivery jumped $18.30, or 1.4%, to settle at $1,296.70 an ounce, as the dollar cooled amid uncertainty in D.C. On a weekly basis, the malleable metal added 1.7%.

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