Stocks Signal Strong Close to 2017

The Dow and S&P are pacing for weekly, monthly, and quarterly wins

Dec 29, 2017 at 9:04 AM
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Stocks are signaling a higher open for the last trading day of 2017, setting up the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) for yet another record close. Once again trading action will likely be thin ahead of the long weekend, with just the Chicago purchasing managers index (PMI) on the economic schedule today. As such, the Dow and S&P 500 Index (SPX) are both set to end the week, month, and quarter higher -- on top of their best year since 2013 -- while the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) will need only a modest win to overcome its weekly deficit.

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

  • Analyst: Tax reform will send these 2 stocks to record highs in 2018.
  • Options bulls scored big on this red-hot oil stock.
  • Why it could be time to buy puts on Chesapeake Energy.
  • Plus, a soaring forex stock; and 2 stocks moving on tax reform buzz.

stocks today

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 545,173 call contracts traded on Thursday, compared to 309,655 put contracts -- the lightest put volume since the shortened July 3 session. The single-session equity put/call ratio edged up 0.57, while the 21-day moving average stayed at 0.57.
  2. Forex concern GAIN Capital Holdings Inc (NYSE:GCAP) is up another 25% before the open, as the stock continues its huge run higher. The shares yesterday rallied over 26% thanks to news activist Mox Reports had a long position. GCAP stock closed yesterday at $9.85, its highest settlement in over two years.
  3. Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) also had a big day yesterday, as it heads into an extremely bullish time of year. The company is grabbing headlines again this morning, after it revealed it's substantially increasing the salaries of a number of executives as a result of the new tax bill.
  4. Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS) also gave a tax-related updated, though it was a bit more downbeat. Specifically, the banking giant said tax reform could eat into its fourth-quarter earnings by $5 billion. Still, GS stock has been one of the best to own at the start of a new year.
  5. The earnings schedule is bare today. Next week, attention will turn to the December jobs report.

stock market news december 29

Overseas Trading

It was a quiet close to 2017 for most major Asian benchmarks. A firming yen kept buyers at bay in Tokyo, where Japan's Nikkei slipped 0.08%, but notched a 19.1% advance for the year. China's Shanghai Composite tacked on 0.4% for the day and 6.5% for the year, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng closed up 0.2% to bring its annual gain to 36.1%. Markets in Seoul were closed today, but the South Korean Kospi notched a 21.6% surge over the course of the calendar year.

In London, the FTSE 100 added 0.9% to wrap up 2017 at a record closing high, having tacked on 7.8% since the start of January. Traders in Paris and Frankfurt are still making their final moves for the year, with a slight downside bias at midday. The French CAC 40 is off 0.2%, on pace to end 2017 on a gain of 9.7%, while the German DAX is down 0.5% for the day, but 12.5% higher on the year.

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