Stocks Ricochet Lower as Volatility Persists

Senate leaders claim to have a deal to avoid a government shutdown tomorrow

Feb 7, 2018 at 4:28 PM
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Stocks again seesawed erratically between positive and negative territory today, with the Dow trading in a 500-point range. Along with Treasury yields and the latest round of corporate earnings reports, the latest budget showdown in Congress was also in focus, as Senate leaders claimed to have reached an agreement on a two-year spending bill to avoid a government shutdown tomorrow night. But while the Dow was up more than 300 points at its session peak, it ultimately ended another volatile session in the red. The S&P and Nasdaq also reversed lower, with energy stocks weighed down by falling oil prices.

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

  • The blockchain stock that surged today.
  • Analyst: This drug stock could soar another 41%.
  • How options traders reacted to the Chipotle stock sell-off.
  • Plus, a transportation stock to target; a drug stock to watch tomorrow; and AKAM options bulls win the day.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 24,893.35) went on another roller coaster ride today, overcoming early losses to trade up more than 300 points, only to see those gains evaporate in the last half hour of trading. By the close, the blue-chip index was down 19.4 points, or 0.1%. Thirteen of 30 Dow components closed higher, led by Boeing's (BA) 2.1% increase, while Apple (AAPL) was the biggest loser, closing down 2.1%.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,681.66) fell 13.5 points, or 0.5%, and the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 7,051.98) shed 63.9 points, or 0.9%.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 27.73) pared much of its early retreat but still closed down 2.3 points, or 7.5%.

Closing Indexes Summary Feb 7

NYSE and Nasdaq Stats Feb 7

5 Items on Our Radar Today

  1. A new report from The Solar Foundation shows employment in the U.S. solar industry fell in 2017 for the first time since 2010 when the non-profit began collecting the data. More than 10,000 jobs were lost in the sector. In other solar news, the European Union (EU) is demanding repayments from the U.S. for tariffs placed on imported solar panels. (Reuters)
  2. Coffee chain Dunkin' Donuts announced plans to end the use of foam cups by 2020. The company joins a growing group of industry peers trying to convert to more environmentally friendly materials. (Chicago Tribune)
  3. Why it could be time to buy this transportation stock.
  4. A sinking drug stock looking for an earnings bounce.
  5. Options traders nailed the earnings move from cloud stock Akamai Technologies (AKAM).

Corporate Earnings Feb 7

Unusual Options Activity Feb 7

Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Gold Suffers Worst Day Since November

Oil prices slipped again following another weekly rise in U.S. crude inventories. March crude futures closed down $1.60, or 2.5%, at $61.79 per barrel -- a one-month low.

The price of gold fell sharply today as the dollar strengthened and bond yields rose. April-dated gold futures gave back $14.90, or 1.1%, to land at $1,314.60 per ounce. This marked the biggest one-day percentage drop since late November and gold's fourth straight daily loss.


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