Dow Slides Before Apple Earnings; Dollar Gains Again

The U.S. dollar continued to strengthen, pressuring oil and gold

May 1, 2018 at 4:26 PM
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The Dow failed to recover from this morning's disappointing earnings releases from Pfizer (PFE) and Merck (MRK), closing the first session of May in the red. A strong rebound in tech stocks helped the Nasdaq and S&P finish in the black, however. Meanwhile, another uptick in the U.S. dollar drug down oil prices, pressuring the broader energy sector. Wall Street also digested data showing a second straight monthly decline in U.S. factory activity and rising raw materials costs. Traders will now turn their attention to this afternoon's Apple earnings release, while the latest Fed decision is due out tomorrow.

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 24,099.05) spent the entire day in the red, falling 64.1 points, or 0.3%, but ending well off its intraday lows. Nine blue chips closed in positive territory, while 20 settled in the red and JPMorgan Chase (JPM) was flat. Intel (INTC) led the way with a 3.3% rise, and PFE shares paced the losers, down 3.3% at the close.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,654.80) picked up 6.8 points, or 0.3%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 7,130.70) rose 64.4 points, or 0.9%.

The Cboe Volatility Index (VIX - 15.49) shed 0.4 point, or 2.8%.

Closing Indexes May 1

NYSE and Nasdaq May 1

5 Items on Our Radar Today

  1. Facebook (FB) held its F8 developers conference today, where the company revealed a number of new updates. The social media giant announced new tweaks to its Workplace product, as well as a new dating feature on its main site. (Reuters and CNBC)
  2. Gibson Brands Inc., maker of the iconic guitar, has filed for bankruptcy protection. The company will continue with a reorganization plan, including $135 million from lenders. (Bloomberg)
  3. The retail stock that had its worst day in months
  4. XME options bears are cashing out after a tariff delay weighed on steel.
  5. Put traders should consider this restaurant stock.

Earnings Chat May 1

Unusual Options Activity May 1

Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Dollar Strength Crushes Oil and Gold

Oil prices fell hard today due a strengthening U.S. dollar and signs of increasing domestic production. June-dated crude finished down $1.32, or 1.9%, at $67.25 per barrel.

The stronger dollar also weighed on gold prices. Gold set for June delivery fell $12.40, or 0.9%, to $1,306.80 an ounce -- a two-month low. 

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