Dow Kicks Off Short Week With Modest Gain

A stronger dollar weighed on crude oil and gold prices

Nov 20, 2017 at 4:27 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) spent the day modestly higher, kicking off a historically low-volume holiday week with a gain. Investors cheered a rally in tech and telecom stocks, as well as stronger-than-expected economic data, which helped ease lingering concerns about tax reform. Meanwhile, the greenback gained ground against the euro in the wake of political uncertainty in Germany, sending dollar-denominated commodities lower. Traders also digested Fed Chair Janet Yellen's decision to leave the central bank altogether at the end of her term, as opposed to staying on as governor.

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

  • Stock market bulls haven't fled this fast in 4 years.
  • 2 pharma stocks getting fired up.
  • How options traders are speculating ahead of Lowe's earnings tomorrow morning.
  • Plus, the Chinese internet stock attracting bulls; Dycom's earnings chaos; and why GM stock's a "buy" before December.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA - 23,430.33) was up nearly 100 points at its intraday high, but settled with a gain of 72.1 points, or 0.3%. All but 11 of the Dow's 30 components ended higher, led by 1.7% gains for Verizon (VZ) and Cisco Systems (CSCO). Merck (MRK) paced the blue-chip losers with a 2% drop.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,582.14) gained 3.3 points, or 0.1%. The Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 6,790.71) ended up 7.9 points, or 0.1%.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 10.65) settled down 0.8 point, or 6.8%, ending a six-day stretch above its 200-day moving average.

Closing Indexes Summary Nov 20

NYSE and Nasdaq Nov 20

5 Items on Our Radar Today

  1. While several media companies have been flirting with mergers lately, CBS and Dish Network are staring each other down over fees. CBS today warned that Dish subscribers should be prepared to lose CBS programming access -- and face a TV blackout of major sporting events -- if the dispute isn't resolved late tonight.  (Reuters)
  2. Nebraska regulators approved a Keystone XL pipeline route spanning nearly 1,200 miles, despite backlash from environmentalists and Nebraska landowners. The Obama administration had denied the project, but President Trump overturned that decision shortly after taking office. (CNBC)
  3. The red-hot Chinese internet stock attracting short-term bulls.
  4. Behind today's big earnings surprise from Dycom Industries (DY).
  5. Analyst: General Motors (GM) stock is a "buy" before Nov. 30.

Corporate Earnings Chart Nov 20

Unusual Options Activity Nov 20
Data courtesy of Trade-Alert


December-dated crude oil futures fell $0.46, or 0.8%, to expire at $56.09 per barrel. A stronger dollar and caution ahead of the Organization for the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) meeting on Nov. 30 weighed on black gold.

A strengthening greenback also kept gold in check, as the dollar gained against the euro amid political uncertainty in Germany. By the close, gold for December delivery dropped $21.40, or 1.6%, to $1,275.30 an ounce.


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