Netflix, Corporate Earnings Lift U.S. Stocks; VIX Suffers 6th Straight Loss

Gold finished the day slightly lower on a stronger dollar

Managing Editor
Apr 17, 2018 at 4:24 PM
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A round of upbeat corporate earnings sent the Dow more than 200 points higher by the close, while a well-received report for Netflix (NFLX) helped the S&P and Nasdaq to their highest closes in nearly a month. Encouraging data on March industrial production and housing starts also contributed to the "risk on" attitude. On the other hand, the VIX -- also known as the stock market's "fear gauge" -- suffered its sixth straight loss.

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

  • 25 ideas for options traders this earnings season.
  • The Chinese penny stock at the top of the Nasdaq today.
  • Coca-Cola stock just got a high-profile upgrade.
  • Plus, the plummeting airline stock pummeled by put traders; one toymaker expected to make a big earnings move; and how analysts are initiating coverage on Dropbox.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 24,786.63) gained 213.6 points, or 0.9%, for the day, and closed atop its 50-day moving average for the first time since March 9. UnitedHealth (UNH) was the biggest of the gainers for the second day in a row, surging 3.6% after earnings. JPMorgan Chase (JPM) ended the day flat, while Goldman Sachs (GS) was the biggest of the six losers, falling 1.6%.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,706.39) picked up 28.6 points, or 1.1%, while the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 7,281.10) gained 124.8 points, or 1.7%. Both indexes managed to close above their own 50-day moving averages, as well.

The Cboe Volatility Index (VIX - 15.25) lost 1.3 point, or 7.9%, for the day, suffering its sixth straight loss and lowest close since March 9.

Closing Indexes Summary April 17

NYSE and Nasdaq Stats April 17

5 Items on Our Radar Today

  1. The IRS' "Direct Pay" and "Payment Plans" pages have crashed, as millions of Americans scramble to meet today's filing deadline. However, an IRS spokesperson said "Taxpayers should continue filing their tax returns as they normally would," and IRS Acting Commissioner David J. Kautter reportedly said filers wouldn't be hit with penalties if returns were late due to the outage. (CNBC
  2. Following two arrests of African-American men in a Philadelphia Starbucks, the coffee chain has promised to shut down and close all non-licensed facilities (around 8,000) for an afternoon of non-bias training for employees. The training is expected to reach nearly 175,000 employees, and take place on May 29. (Bloomberg)
  3.  Put volume exploded amid the Allegiant stock nosedive.
  4.  Another large earnings swing is being priced into Mattel options.
  5.  Analysts converged on Dropbox stock after the blackout.

Corporate Earnings April 17

Unusual Options Activity April 17

Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Gold Dips on Stronger Dollar

After a rocky day of trading, oil managed to finish Tuesday higher, amid lingering concerns about supply disruptions in the Middle East. May-dated crude ended up 30 cents, or 0.5%, to finish at $66.52 per barrel.

A strong day in the stock market dulled gold's "safe haven" appeal, and a higher dollar also weighed on the commodity. June-dated futures finished down $1.20, or 0.1%, to settle at $1,349.50 per ounce.

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