Nasdaq Hits Record High as Amazon Pops

Powell signaled support for gradual rate hikes

Jul 17, 2018 at 4:27 PM
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The Dow erased a slim early morning deficit, with a positive earnings reaction for Johnson & Johnson boosting the blue-chip index to a fourth straight win. A relatively dovish tone from Fed Chair Jerome Powell also lifted investor sentiment, with the head of the central bank supporting gradual rate hikes in today's testimony in front of the Senate Banking Committee. The buying power helped the S&P 500 and Nasdaq brush off a post-earnings drop for Netflix stock, with the latter settling at a record close on a big day for Amazon.

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

  • 4 ETFs to watch this week, courtesy of founder and CEO Bernie Schaeffer.
  • Analyst: This penny stock could triple.
  • Dow stock screams "sell" ahead of earnings.
  • Plus, this retail stock has cheap options; the cloud name at new highs; and options bulls blast Disney.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 25,119.89) added 55.5 points, or 0.2%. Nineteen Dow stocks closed higher, led by Johnson & Johnson's (JNJ) 3.5% pop. UnitedHealth (UNH) paced the 11 decliners with its 2.6% drop. 

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,809.55) reclaimed its footing atop 2,800, adding 11.1 points, or 0.4%. The Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 7,855.12) topped out at a record intraday high of 7,867.15, before settling up 49.4 points, or 0.6%.

The Cboe Volatility Index (VIX - 12.06) shed 0.8 point, or 6%. The market's "fear gauge" has closed below its 320-day moving average in five of the last six sessions.

Closing Indexes Summary July 17

NYSE and Nasdaq Stats July 17

5 Items on Our Radar Today

  1. An online study by cg42 -- a New York-based consulting firm -- estimated over 5 million U.S. consumers will end subscriptions to a pay-TV service in 2018. The survey also showed 30% of participants had cut the cord in the previous two years, while 18% had never subscribed. (MarketWatch)
  2. U.S. President Donald Trump said today, "I accept our intelligence community's conclusion that Russia's meddling in the 2016 election took place," but also said it "could be other people also." This is in response to criticism surrounding Monday's press conference between POTUS and Russian President Vladimir Putin. (CNBC)
  3. This outperforming retail stock has cheap options.
  4. A bullish brokerage note sent this cloud stock to a new high.
  5. Call buyers took aim at Disney stock.

Corporate Earnings July 17

Unusual Options Activity July 17

Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Dollar Sends Gold Prices Slumping to Annual Low

Oil prices managed a slight rebound on reports of a production outage in Libya. August-dated crude futures added 2 cents to settle at $68.08 per barrel.

Gold fell for a third straight day, as the dollar gained ground during Powell's testimony. Gold for August delivery settled down $12.40, or 1%, at $1,227.30 an ounce -- the lowest close since last July.

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