Dow Nets Triple-Digit Win As Markets Await Rate Hike

The Nasdaq eked out a win despite another slump for Facebook

Patrick Martin
Mar 20, 2018 at 4:23 PM
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Stocks closed higher as the Fed meeting kicked off, with markets anticipating an interest rate hike tomorrow. Investors are also waiting to dissect new Fed Chair Jerome Powell's first news conference for additional clues on future monetary policy. The Dow finished over 100 points higher, thanks to strong performances from Boeing (BA) and Nike (NKE). Energy stocks powered the S&P 500 higher, thanks to rising oil prices, and even the Nasdaq closed the day in the black, despite another day of losses for Facebook (FB) stock, which fell amid reports of a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) investigation. 

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

  • Short seller: This drug stock could sink 90%.
  • Snap stock is feeling the social media swoon.
  • How options traders played FedEx stock ahead of earnings.
  • Plus, Oracle's earnings results; ROKU's big day; and a drug stock that could be in trouble.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 24,727.27) finished 116.4 points, or 0.5%, higher. Today saw 19 Dow stocks close in positive territory, led by BA with a 1.8% gain. Pfizer (PFE) finished flat. General Electric (GE) was the worst of the other 10, shedding 3.1%.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,716.94) added 4 points, or 0.2%. The Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 7,364.30) gained 20.1 points, or 0.3%. 

The Cboe Volatility Index (VIX - 18.20) finished 0.8 point, or 4.3%, lower.

 

Closing Indexes Summary March 20

NYSE and Nasdaq march 20

5 Items on Our Radar Today

  1. Alphabet (GOOGL) is doing its part to combat the dissemination of fake news. The FAANG giant is launching Google News Initiative, a platform to weed out the spread of false information. Google plans to spend $300 million in the next three years to improve the news function of its platform. (Reuters)
  2. Orbitz, a component of travel company Expedia (EXPE), reported that hackers may have breached security and gained access to information of over 880,000 payment cards. The investigation details that the breach occurred between Jan. 1, 2016 and Dec. 22, 2017. The breach was identified and addressed this month. (Reuters)
  3. Breaking down Oracle stock's earnings reaction.
  4. The analyst attention that lifted Roku stock
  5. The drug stock poised to keep dropping. 

 Corporate Earnings March 20

Unusual Options Volume march 20

Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Oil Soars to 3-Week High, Gold Drops to 3-Week Low

April-dated crude futures rose $1.34, or 2.2%, to end at $63.40 per barrel -- a new three-week high. Prices were driven higher by tension between Saudi Arabia and Iran, on top of mounting concern over falling production in Venezuela.

Gold futures for April delivery lost $5.90, or 0.5%, to close at $1,311.90 an ounce, the lowest point since March 1. A stronger dollar lessened demand for the metal ahead of the Fed's likely interest rate hike on Wednesday.


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