Broad Blue-Chip Rally Boosts Dow Triple Digits

The stock market surge kept gold lower for a second straight day

Jul 24, 2018 at 4:25 PM
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It was a broad-based advance for blue chips today, with United Technologies (UTX) rallying on earnings, Chevron (CVX) surging with oil prices, and Caterpillar (CAT) popping on talk of the Trump administration's farmer aid package. While the Dow surged triple digits, a positive earnings reaction for Google parent Alphabet (GOOGL) helped lift the S&P 500 and push the Nasdaq to a record high in intraday action -- though the tech-heavy index wasn't able to maintain its positive momentum into the close.

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

  • AMD stock could be a buy ahead of earnings.
  • Morgan Stanley set a lofty Apple price target.
  • 8 price points to watch on housing stocks, courtesy of founder and CEO Bernie Schaeffer.
  • Plus, 2 healthcare stocks with fresh "buy" ratings; FB call options get pricey before earnings; and the stock boosted by bitcoin.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 25,241.94) jumped at the open and never looked back, closing up 197.7 points, or 0.8%. Twenty-three Dow stocks settled in positive territory, led by a 3.8% gain for UTX. Nike (NKE) paced the six decliners with its 1.4% drop, while Visa (V) was unchanged.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,820.40) also spent the whole day in the green, and settled with a 13.4-point, or 0.5%, gain. The Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 7,840.77) topped out at an intraday peak of 7,928.79, before shedding 1.1 points, or 0.01%.

The Cboe Volatility Index (VIX - 12.41) successfully tested the key 12 mark -- a floor for the market's "fear gauge" in recent months -- on an intraday basis, and pared its decline to 0.2 point, or 1.7%, by the close.

Closing Indexes Summary July 24

NYSE and Nasdaq Stats July 24

5 Items on Our Radar Today

  1. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials said Russian hackers broke into control rooms of U.S. electric utility companies last year, initially gaining access through vendors. DHS said the cyberattack against the country's infrastructure system first began in early 2016, and is likely still occurring. (MarketWatch)
  2. In a conference call today, Whirlpool (WHR) CEO Marc Bitzer said tariff uncertainty and the rising cost of raw materials contributed to the appliance maker's second-quarter earnings and revenue misses. WHR shares slumped 14.5%, and hit a two-year low in intraday trading. (Reuters)
  3. Analysts initiated coverage on these 2 healthcare stocks with "buy" recommendations.
  4. Short-term Facebook call options are pricing in a bigger-than-usual post-earnings swing.
  5. A surge in bitcoin's price sent this stock near the top of the Nasdaq.

Corporate Earnings July 24

Unusual Options Activity July 24

Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Stock Market Surge Pressures Gold Prices

Oil prices rose today amid lingering tensions between the U.S. and Iran. Crude for September delivery added 63 cents, or 0.9%, to close at $68.52 per barrel.

Gold closed lower for a second straight session as a surging stock market lessened the metal's safe-haven appeal. August-dated gold settled down 10 cents at $1,225.50 an ounce.

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