Energy Stocks Guide Dow, S&P; Tech Boosts Nasdaq

President Trump will be making a decision on the Iran nuclear deal tomorrow

May 7, 2018 at 4:27 PM
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A strong rise in oil prices sparked strong early trading for U.S. stocks, though the Dow and S&P 500 closed well off their intraday highs. Crude futures burst through the $70-per-barrel level on expectations of fresh sanctions on Iran, but lost some steam after President Donald Trump tweeted that he'll make a decision on the Iran nuclear deal at 2 p.m. ET tomorrow. Meanwhile, a big day from the tech sector had the Nasdaq outperforming its index peers. From a broader standpoint, the intraday volatility was nothing new, as stocks continue to go nowhere fast.

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

  • History says it's not too late to join the Apple stock rally.
  • Options traders are taking action ahead of Disney earnings.
  • 2 hot cloud stocks that saw heavy call volume.
  • Plus, Alibaba bulls strike; penny stock tops the Nasdaq; and options traders -- and Warren Buffett -- circle Tesla.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 24,357.32) was up more than 200 points at its peak, and closed up 94.8 points, or 0.4%. Seventeen of 30 Dow stocks closed in positive territory, and the top gainer was Caterpillar (CAT), climbing 2.4%. The biggest loser, meanwhile, was Walmart (WMT), falling 2.4%. 

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,672.63) added 9.2 points, or 0.4%, and the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 7,265.21) rose 55.6 points, or 0.8%. 

The Cboe Volatility Index (VIX - 14.75) closed down 0.02 point, or 0.1%.

Closing Indexes May 7

NYSE and Nasdaq May 7

5 Items on Our Radar Today

  1. Walmart today announced new restrictions on opioid prescriptions in an effort to help fight drug abuse. The retailer will limit opioid prescriptions for acute pain to a seven-day supply. (Reuters)
  2. Turning to some travel news, a U.S. Department of Transportation report revealed travelers paid almost $4.6 billion last year to domestic airlines in checked bag fees alone. However, the pace of growth in bag fees actually slowed for 2016-2017, relative to the 2015-2016 span. (CNBC)
  3. Alibaba option bulls targeted a familiar price point.
  4. The penny stock that surged to the top of the Nasdaq.
  5. Options traders circled Tesla after the recent Musk-Buffett exchange.

Corporate Earnings Chart May 7

Unusual Options Activity May 7

Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Oil Tops $70 a Barrel

June-dated crude futures closed above $70 per barrel for the first time since late 2014, finishing up $1.01, or 1.5%, at $70.77 per barrel. In after-hours trading, however, the contract slipped beneath the round-number level, following Trump's announcement.

Gold prices dipped today as the dollar strengthened. Gold set for June delivery fell 60 cents, or 0.05%, to $1,314.10 per ounce.


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