Dow Pares Triple-Digit Lead, But Ends 2Q Higher

U.S. stocks ended the second quarter on positive ground

Managing Editor
Jun 29, 2018 at 4:34 PM
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The Dow ended today modestly higher, thanks to a massive post-earnings rally from apparel giant Nike (NKE) -- but the index once again failed to reclaim its 200-day moving average, as an intraday gain of 293 points largely evaporated by the close.  A rebound by beaten-down financial stocks also propped up markets, after most major U.S. banks passed the Fed's stress tests. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq joined the Dow in the black today, although all three benchmarks ultimately ended the week lower. However, the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq all secured quarterly wins. 

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

  • Why these 2 Dow stocks are the ones to watch next quarter. 
  • Activision Blizzard stock is ripe for fresh record highs.
  • Plus, Constellation Brands whiffs on earnings; XLF options volume pops; and a drug stock sliding on FDA news.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 24,271.41) added 55.4 points, or 0.2%. Nike (NKE) led the 16 blue-chip advancers with its 11.1% gain, while Goldman Sachs (GS) paced the 14 losers with a 1.3% slide. For the week and month, the Dow gave back 1.3% and 0.6%, respectively -- but the index gained 0.7% for the quarter.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,718.37) tacked on 2.1 points, or 0.07%. It shed 1.3% this week, but gained 0.5% for the month and nearly 3% for the quarter. The Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 7,510.30) added 6.6 points, or 0.09%. It lost 2.3% for the week, but gained roughly 1% in June and 6.4% for the second quarter.

The Cboe Volatility Index (VIX - 16.09) gave back 0.8 point, or 4.5%. The VIX notched a 16.8% weekly gain and a 4.3% win for the month, but shed 19.4% this quarter.

Closing Indexes June 29

NYSE and Nasdaq June 29

5 Items on Our Radar Today

  1. Cryptocurrency bitcoin sank below $6,000 today, its lowest point since November. A string of negative headlines have pressured the digital currency lower this week, particularly centered around recent hacks in Asia. Bitcoin has now shed almost 60% in 2018. (Reuters)
  2. The love triangle between Twenty-first Century Fox (FOXA), Walt Disney (DIS), and Comcast (CMCSA) may be nearing its end, as Fox shareholders have decided to vote on Disney's $71.3 billion offer on July 27. Earlier this week, Disney's bid won antitrust approval from the Department of Justice. (Bloomberg)
  3. Constellation Brands stock gapped lower on a profit miss.
  4. Call traders blasted XLF after the Fed's stress test results.
  5. Drug stock OCUL saw volatile trading after an FDA resubmission. 

Corporate Earnings Chart June 29

Unusual Options Activity June 29

Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Oil Stays Hot; Gold Snaps Skid

Oil continued its ascent, as the U.S. rig count declined for a second week. August-dated crude futures added 70 cents, or 1%, to settle at $74.15 per barrel. For the week, black gold gained 8%, accounting for most of June's 11% jump. For the quarter, oil rallied 14%.

Gold futures finished higher today, thanks to a pullback from the U.S. dollar. August-dated gold futures gained $3.50, or 0.3%, to end at $1,254.50 an ounce, ending a four-day losing streak. However, gold gave back 1.3% for the week, 3.8% for the month, and 5.5% for the quarter.

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