Stocks Shake Off Post-Fed Slump; Nasdaq Has Best Month in Years

Oil managed to end its two-day losing streak and finished Wednesday higher

Managing Editor
Jan 31, 2018 at 4:34 PM
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The Dow was up more than 200 points at its intraday high on a boost from blue-chip Boeing's (BA) impressive earnings, but erased these gains after the Fed said inflation is expected to "stabilize around" its 2% target this year -- a hawkish shift from previous language -- which sent the 10-year Treasury yield soaring to a nearly four-year peak. Nevertheless, the central bank unanimously voted to keep interest rates unchanged in Fed Chair Janet Yellen's final meeting. Stocks shook off this brief slump, though, to close higher, with the Dow and S&P notching a 10th straight monthly win, and the Nasdaq logging its strongest monthly gain since October 2015.

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

  • 2 Dow stocks brushing off bearish notes.
  • 3 reasons to buy Visa stock.
  • Analyst: FIT's earnings goals within reach.
  • Plus, 3 stocks that made big moves; pre-earnings options bulls blast GPRO; and a bouncing Apple supplier.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 26,149.39) gained 72.5 points, or 0.3%, for the day. BA led the 17 advancing blue chips with a 4.9% gain, while Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) paced the losers with a 3% loss. The Dow finished up 5.8% for the month -- its biggest monthly gain since March 2016.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX -  2,823.81) picked up 1.4 points, or 0.05%, while the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 7,411.48) gained 9 points, or 0.1%. For the month, the indexes finished up 5.6% and 7.4%, respectively, the latter's best monthly performance since March 2016. 

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 13.54) shed 1.3 point, or 8.5% for the day. The VIX ended January up 22.6% -- its best monthly return since October 2016.

Closing Indexes Summary Jan 31

NYSE and Nasdaq Stats Jan 31

5 Items on Our Radar Today

  1.  The head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, resigned from her position earlier today. Her resignation comes after it was revealed that she had invested in a tobacco stock, shortly after taking her position at the government health agency. (CNBC)
  2. Twenty-First Century Fox (FOXA) will reportedly pay more than $3 billion to broadcast Thursday night NFL games on its Fox network over the next five years. The deal will end up being around $60 million for each Thursday night game, and is said to be a move to help Fox become a leader in sports, after its recent asset sales to Walt Disney (DIS). (Reuters)
  3. 3 tech stocks making big moves after earnings.
  4.  Despite technical woes, options traders are bullish on GoPro ahead of earnings.
  5.  Put buyers can find a deal on this bouncing Apple supplier.

Corporate Earnings Jan 31

Unusual Options Activity Jan 31

Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Oil Breaks Two-Session Losing Streak

March-dated crude ended higher for the first time this week, after the Energy Information Administration (EIA) signaled strong demand for U.S. gasoline and other supplies. Oil futures finished the day up 23 cents, or 0.4%, at $64.73 per barrel. For the month, oil prices rose 7.1%.

February-dated futures gained $3.60, or 0.3%, to settle at $1,339 an ounce as the dollar weakened ahead of the Fed announcement -- bringing the malleable metal's monthly gain to 2.3%. After the statement, though, gold futures briefly pulled back.

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