Stocks Wrap Up Best First Week in Years

Oil futures backed down from three-year highs

Managing Editor
Jan 5, 2018 at 4:36 PM
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Stocks have closed out the first week of 2018 with a bang, with the Dow adding 2.33% in the first four trading sessions -- the best start to a year since 2003. In addition, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) enjoyed their best start to a year since 2006, with all three indexes touching another round of record highs. Tech stocks like Apple (AAPL) and Cisco Systems (CSCO) were among the day's winners, helping traders shrug off a weaker-than-expected December payrolls report.

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

  • The blue-chip stock with cheap options
  • Analysts: 3 Dow stocks headed for record highs.
  • How contrarians cashed in on Chipotle in 2017.
  • Plus, the pharma stock ready to surge; 2 auto stocks for options buyers; and the NVIDIA buy signal.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 25,295.87) continued to churn higher, picking up 220.7 points, or 0.9%. All but nine Dow components closed in positive territory, with Boeing (BA) stock leading the way with a 4.1% gain. JPMorgan Chase (JPM) was the biggest loser, closing down 0.6%. The Dow gained 2.3% for the week.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,743.15) added 19.2 points, or 0.7%, on the day, and 2.6% for the week. The Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 7,136.56) added 58.6 points, or 0.8%, today, and picked up 3.4% for the week. Both indexes saw their best weeks since December 2016.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 9.22) closed flat, and down 16.5% on the week. It was the VIX's worst week since August 2017.

Closing Indexes Summary Jan 5

NYSE and Nasdaq Stats Jan 5

5 Items on Our Radar Today

  1. Global debt reached a record high of $233 trillion during 2017's third quarter, according to the Institute of International Finance (IIF). The increase in debt could be a speed bump for central banks looking to hike interest rates, according to IIF analysts. (Bloomberg)
  2. After South Korea and America announced that they will postpone military drills until after the Winter Olympics, North Korea has agreed to hold official talks with Seoul. The meeting -- regarding North Korea's missile and nuclear programs and the Winter Olympics -- is set for Tuesday, Jan. 9, and will be the first between the Koreas since 2015. (Reuters
  3. The pharma stock ready to surge.
  4. 2 auto stocks with cheap options.
  5. Now is the time to buy Nvidia options.

Corporate Earnings Jan 5

Unusual Options Activity Jan 5 new
Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Crude Dips from 3-Year High, Gold Marks Record Winning Streak

February-dated crude futures backpedaled from a three-year high, but still managed to reach a third weekly gain amid continued concerns over protests in Iran. Crude settled down 57 cents, or 0.9% at $61.44 per barrel, but managed to climb 1.7% for the week.

Gold futures dominated today, marking in an 11th straight day of gains – the longest to date. The commodity bounced from early losses, as traders eyed a fluctuating dollar and this morning's U.S. employment report. The metal finished Friday up 70 cents, or just under 0.1%, at $1,322.30 an ounce. February-dated gold picked up 1% for the week.


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