Wild Day for Dow Ends in Wash

Earnings and Trump fueled volatile intraday moves

by Karee Venema

Published on Jul 20, 2018 at 4:28 PM

It was a wild day on Wall Street, as an onslaught of headlines surrounding President Donald Trump played tug-of-war with a round of positive earnings reactions. While the Dow slumped to its session lows out of the gate on Trump's latest tariff threats and fresh calls of currency manipulation, it swung higher near midday on strong Microsoft earnings. However, the volatile trading was confined to intraday action, with the blue-chip index settling right near breakeven to string together a third straight weekly win.

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

  • It could be time to buy calls on this red-hot drug stock.
  • This retailer rallied to record highs after earnings.
  • Plus, a brow-raising bear note for Tesla; Wynn options bulls pay up; and trade concerns kept this Apple supplier in the red.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 25,058.12) spent time on both sides of breakeven, before closing down 6.4 points, or 0.03%. Seventeen Dow stocks settled at a loss, paced by a 1.9% drop for IBM (IBM). Microsoft (MSFT) led the 13 advancers with its 1.8% gain. For the week, the Dow added 0.2%.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,801.83) shed 2.7 point, or 0.09%, but ended 0.03% higher on the week -- and managed its first back-to-back weekly closes north of 2,800 since January. The Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 7,820.20) gave back 5.1 points, or 0.07%, bringing its weekly loss to 0.09%.

The Cboe Volatility Index (VIX - 12.86) settled down 0.01 point, or 0.08%. On a weekly basis, VIX rose 5.6%.

Closing Indexes Summary July 20

NYSE and Nasdaq Stats July 20

5 Items on Our Radar Today

  1. General Electric (GE) reported adjusted second-quarter earnings of 19 cents per share on $30.1 billion in revenue -- above the 17 cents per share and $29.3 billion in revenue analysts were expecting. And while the former Dow stock retreated on downwardly revised free cash flow guidance, it found a trusty foothold at the $13 mark. (Reuters)
  2. Financial firm State Street (STT) said it will buy Charles River Development for $2.6 billion. However, in order to fund the all-cash transaction, the company said it would halt its $950 million stock buyback program through the end of 2018. Shares of STT closed at their lowest point since June 2017. (CNBC)
  3. J.P. Morgan Securities reiterated its harsh downside target for Tesla stock.
  4. Premium on Wynn Resorts stock call options is rich at the moment.
  5. An upbeat earnings report couldn't save this Apple supplier from trade-related headwinds.

Corporate Earnings July 20

Unusual Options Activity July 20

Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Oil, Gold Rise as Dollar Cools

Oil prices gained ground today, as Trump's comments on trade and interest rates pressured the dollar. Crude futures for August delivery rose $1.00, or 1.4%, to settle at $70.46 per barrel -- but ended with a 0.8% weekly loss. Meanwhile, the now front-month September contract closed up 2 cents at $68.26 per barrel.

Gold closed higher, as the greenback cooled. August-dated gold added $7.10, or 0.6%, to settle at $1,231.10 an ounce -- but shed 0.8% on the week.


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