Stocks Turn South on Geopolitical Uncertainty

The financial sector outperformed in a big way, however

May 22, 2018 at 4:24 PM
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What initially looked like a strong session for stocks quickly went south, with the Dow sliding to a triple-digit loss. Investors early in the day cheered news that China would cut tariffs on automobiles, but this momentum evaporated after President Donald Trump said he wasn't happy with trade negotiations with the Asian nation. The president also suggested the mid-June summit with North Korea may not happen now. As such, the financial sector was one of the only winners today, with the headwinds even hitting the red-hot Russell 2000 (RUT).

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 24,834.41) moved lower throughout the day, ending with a 178.9-point, or 0.7%, loss. Only nine of the 30 Dow components closed with gains, led by 0.8% advances from Verizon (VZ) and JPMorgan Chase (JPM). Boeing (BA) was the biggest loser amid the downbeat trade rhetoric, ending down 2.4%.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,724.44) shed 8.6 points, or 0.3%, and the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 7,378.46) closed down 15.6 points, or 0.2%.

The Cboe Volatility Index (VIX - 13.22) ticked up 0.1 point, or 1.1%.

Closing Indexes May 22

NYSE and Nasdaq May 22

5 Items on Our Radar Today

  1. Congressional Republicans are pushing for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to appoint a second special counsel to look into the FBI and Department of Justice, amid allegations of misconduct and a possible FBI plant in Trump's presidential campaign. At least 18 lawmakers have signed a resolution. This all comes just a day after the Justice Department said it'd look into irregular FBI tactics involving the Trump campaign. (Reuters)
  2. Apple seems to be teasing that it'll have a big announcement involving Siri at its June 4 developers conference. The company is hinting to the change via Siri command. (USA Today)
  3. The $10 billion update that sparked a Micron stock rally.
  4. Boyd Gaming stock is prime for a bullish options trade.
  5. This energy stock is vaulting toward its best month ever.

Corporate Earnings Chart May 22

Unusual Options Activity May 22

Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Oil Prices Dip While Gold Ticks Higher

Oil prices ended lower today, erasing early losses to pull back from a three-year high. June-dated crude futures fell 11 cents, or 0.2%, to $72.13 per barrel.

Gold managed a modest gain today, thanks to a weaker dollar. June-dated gold futures added $1.10, or 0.1%, to end at $1,292 per ounce.

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