Dow Backs Down from 440-Point Gain as Volatile Trading Continues

Strength in tech stocks pushed the Nasdaq to an intraday gain of nearly 160 points

Managing Editor
Apr 9, 2018 at 4:29 PM
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Diminished trade-war tensions and a surge from the healthcare and tech sectors sent stocks higher for the day, and the Dow up more than 440 points at its intraday peak. Pharmaceutical concern Merck & Co (MRK) took the cake for top performing blue-chip, after positive data from its Keytruda drug trial. Friday's sell-off was quickly forgotten, as the S&P and Nasdaq surged during today's trading too, with the latter extending its gain into triple digits at its session highs. However, gains were pared in the final hour of trading following a New York Times report that Trump lawyer Michael Cohen's office had been raided by the FBI.

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 23.979.10) settled on a gain of just 46.3 points, or 0.2%. MRK was the biggest gainer by a long shot, surging 5.2% to lead the other 16 blue-chip winners. General Electric (GE) was the biggest of the 13 losers, falling 1.8%, while Exxon Mobil (XOM) ended the day flat.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,613.16) gained 8.7 points, or 0.3%. The Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 6,950.34) managed to pick up 35.2 points, or 0.5%.

The Cboe Volatility Index (VIX - 21.77) gained 0.3 point, or 1.3%, for the day.

Closing Indexes Summary April 9

NYSE and Nasdaq Stats April 9

5 Items on Our Radar Today

  1. Russian stocks tanked after the U.S. levied its most brutal sanctions against the country. Simultaneously, aluminum prices skyrocketed on expectations for a supply crunch, as major Moscow-based producer Rusal is among the sanctioned companies.  (CNBC)
  2.  After the U.S. confirmed that North Korea's Kim Jong Un is willing to discuss relinquishing his nuclear weapons, President Trump announced that he will be speaking with Kim sometime in May or early June. Trump also said he hopes to create a relationship "that's much different" than the U.S. has previously experienced with the pariah state. (Bloomberg)
  3. German lender Deutsche Bank rallied after a CEO shake-up.
  4. Why the charts say China's Baidu could make a quick comeback.
  5. The Trump catalyst that triggered a Morgan Stanley upgrade for auto giant GM.

There were no earnings of note today.

Unusual Options Activity April 9

Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Gold, Oil Finish the Day Higher

The same risk-on attitude that sparked the rally in stocks pushed crude futures higher to start the week. Oil futures for May delivery closed up $1.36, or 2.2%, at $63.42 per barrel.

However, tensions between the U.S. and Russia regarding the latest round of sanctions provided an underpinning of demand for safe-haven gold futures. June-dated gold added $4, or 0.3%, to settle at $1,340.10 per ounce.


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