Financial Stocks Keep Dow Afloat as S&P, Nasdaq End Lower

Gold ended at its highest point in over a year, thanks to a weak dollar

by Emma Duncan

Published on Jan 24, 2018 at 4:27 PM

Despite all three major indexes reaching record intraday highs, the S&P and Nasdaq reversed early gains, finishing the day lower as comments from Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross fueled concerns about a trade war. A pullback in tech stocks also weighed on the indexes. However, a big lift from financial stocks JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Goldman Sachs (GS) kept the Dow afloat, with banks moving higher as a weaker dollar bolstered Treasury yields. The greenback's three-year low -- triggered by Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin -- also lifted dollar-denominated commodities like oil and gold. Other big movers during today's trading include airline stocks, which plummeted in step with United Continental (UAL).

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

  • The red-hot drug stock that could be a buy.
  • Another earnings win expected for Caterpillar stock.
  • Behind the big surge in Apple options volume.
  • Plus, Goldman says 'sell' this stock; 2 healthcare stocks swinging wildly; and stocks that could make monster moves soon.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 26,252.12) picked up 41.3 points, or 0.2%, and touched an all-time intraday peak of 26,392.80 during today's trading. GS led the 15 advancing blue chips with a 2.1% gain, while General Electric (GE) paced the losers with a 2.7% post-earnings loss.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX -  2,837.54) lost 1.6 points, or 0.1%, while the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 7,415.06) shed 45.2 points, or 0.6%. The indexes did however, touch all-time highs of 2,852.97 and 7,486.31, respectively.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 11.47) gained 0.4 point, or 3.3%, on the day.

Closing Indexes Summary Jan 24

NYSE and Nasdaq Stats Jan 24

5 Items on Our Radar Today

  1. Toys R Us will be closing roughly 180, or 20%, of its stores nationwide. After filing for bankruptcy last September, the toy company said it will focus its website, while expanding its Babies R Us registry. (CNBC)
  2. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is reportedly probing the crash of a Tesla car on "Autopilot" into a fire truck in California. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) sent investigators to the scene of Monday's crash, and in September faulted Tesla in an Autopilot crash from May 2016. (Reuters)
  3.  Goldman Sachs: 'Sell' this drug stock.
  4.  2 healthcare stocks moving in opposite directions.
  5.  Stocks that could make monster moves soon.

Corporate Earnings Jan 24

Unusual Options Activity Jan 24

Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Gold Reaches Highest Close in Over a Year

March-dated oil ended the day higher for a third day in a row, after the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported a 10th straight weekly decline for U.S. crude inventories. Oil futures settled up $1.14, or 1.8%, at $65.61 per barrel -- a three-year high.

February-dated gold finished at its highest mark in over a year, as the U.S. dollar explored three-year lows. Gold futures ended the day $19.60, or 1.5% higher, at $1,356.30 an ounce. 


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