Stocks Retreat As Markets Await Senate Tax Vote

The House approved the GOP tax bill this afternoon

Managing Editor
Dec 19, 2017 at 4:27 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) finished lower today, falling short of its 71st all-time closing high of 2017 -- which would mark a new Dow record. Both the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) joined the Dow in the red, as tech stocks were dragged lower by Apple (AAPL). Anticipation continues to build for the final Republican tax bill, which passed the House vote earlier today, and awaits the Senate vote later tonight. In economic news, better-than-expected housing data sent home improvement stocks to record highs.

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

  • 5 reasons to fear this FAANG stock, according to one brokerage firm.
  • car stocks receiving positive analyst attention.
  • Analyst: Tax reform will benefit this mid-cap drug stock.
  • Plus, earnings previews for BBBY and BB; and the oil ETF approaching a historically bad month.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA - 24,754.75) finished 37.5 points, or 0.2%, lower. Intel (INTC) led the 12 Dow stocks higher for the second straight day with its 1.7% win, while Goldman Sachs (GS) paced the 18 decliners with its 1.4% loss.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,681.47) finished 8.7 points, or 0.3%, lower. The Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 6,963.85) lost 30.9 points, or 0.4%. 

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 10.01) added 0.5 point, or 5.3%.

Closing Indexes Summary Dec 19

NYSE and Nasdaq Dec 19

5 Items on Our Radar Today

  1. Earlier today, United Parcels Service (UPS) reserved 125 Tesla electric semi trucks, the largest to-date order Tesla (TSLA) has received. Thus far, the electric car company has received pre-orders from the likes of J. B. Hunt (JBHT), Wal-Mart (WMT), and Anheuser Busch (BUD), among others. The truck is slated for production in 2019. (Fortune)
  2. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) suspended the trading of shares of Crypto Co., a small-cap bitcoin stock, amid concerns with its meteoric rise lately. The SEC is looking into "potentially manipulative transactions in the company's stock in November 2017." The suspension will be in effect until Jan. 3. (MarketWatch)
  3. Options bears are lining up ahead of Bed Bath & Beyond earnings.
  4. BlackBerry stock is ripe for a short squeeze.
  5. USO options are on sale ahead of a historically awful month.

Corporate Earnings Chart Dec 19

Unusual Options Activity Dec 19
Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Commodities

Crude slated for January delivery rose 30 cents, or 0.5%, to close at $56.46 per barrel. Black gold climbed as the lingering U.K. pipeline outage offset concerns about rising U.S. supply.

February-dated gold futures lost 90 cents, or 0.1%, to settle at $1,264.60 an ounce, snapping a four-day winning streak. The impending tax legislation and encouraging housing data muted the demand for the safe-haven asset.


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