Tariff Merry-Go-Round Sinks Stocks

All three major U.S. benchmarks closed May with solid gains, though

May 31, 2018 at 4:26 PM
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Trade war fears hammered the Dow today. News that the Trump administration was placing fresh tariffs on imports from Canada, Mexico, and the European Union (EU) put pressure on the blue-chip index early -- though domestic steel stocks initially popped -- and losses were exacerbated when Canada, Mexico, and the EU all confirmed they'd retaliate with tariffs of their own. This drug down the S&P 500 as well, and the Nasdaq also closed lower, despite big days from FAANG stocks Alphabet (GOOGL) and Facebook (FB).

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

  • Analyst: This company could be the next Uber or Amazon.
  • The tech stock having its best week in years
  • 2 hot energy stocks sending up buy signals.
  • Plus, Morgan Stanley drops a hot chip stock; put volume surges on Deutsche Bank; and FDA news crushes biotech stocks.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 24,415.84) fell 251.9 points, or 1%, with Visa (V) coming in as the only blue chip to finish in positive territory, adding a whopping 0.1%. Of the 29 Dow losers, Caterpillar (CAT) and Procter & Gamble (PG) had the worst days, falling 2.3% each. The Dow closed May with a 1.1% gain, however.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,705.27) dropped 18.7 points, or 0.7%, and the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 7,442.11) fell 20.3 points, or 0.3%. The SPX ended May up 2.2%, and the Nasdaq finished up 5.3%.

The Cboe Volatility Index (VIX - 15.43) rose 0.5 point, or 3.3%, but slid 3.1% this month.

Closing Indexes Summary May 31

NYSE and Nasdaq May 31

5 Items on Our Radar Today

  1. Walmart has announced its latest initiative to take on Amazon. The retailing giant just revealed a shopping platform known as Jetblack that allows members to make purchases via text message. It'll cost $50 per month. (CNBC)
  2. A Goldman Sachs vice president has been charged with insider trading. Woojae Jung allegedly used information he obtained from the company's advisory rules to make $140,000 in profits. (Fox Business)
  3. Morgan Stanley just downgraded this red-hot chip stock.
  4. Inside the huge put volume on Deutsche Bank.
  5. The FDA news that crushed these biotech stocks.

Corporate Earnings Chart May 31

Unusual Options Activity May 31

Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Oil and Gold Both Fall

A bigger-than-expected decline in domestic crude inventories couldn't save oil prices today. Instead, traders focused on a surprise increase in gasoline stockpiles. July crude futures finished down $1.17, or 1.7%, at $67.04 per barrel, putting their May deficit at 2.2%.

Gold also struggled today, despite an easing dollar. Gold set for August delivery was down $1.80, or 0.1%, at $1,304.70 an ounce at the close. For the month, the precious metal shed 1.1%.


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