Trade News Sends Dow to Best Month Since January

Gold brought its monthly losing streak to four

Jul 31, 2018 at 4:24 PM
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The Dow spent the whole session trading in positive territory, as blue chips 3M (MMM) and Boeing (BA) surged after Bloomberg reported potential progress in U.S.-China trade relations. Upbeat earnings reactions for blue chips Procter & Gamble (PG) and Pfizer (PFE) only created bigger tailwinds.

Tech stocks also had a strong day ahead of tonight's Apple (AAPL) earnings event, with the Nasdaq erasing an early morning deficit to close higher. This capped a strong July for U.S. stocks, with the Dow notching its best month since January, and the S&P 500 and Nasdaq extending their monthly win streaks to four.

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

  • History says to short this oil stock immediately.
  • The options market is pricing in a major earnings move for Fitbit.
  • The restaurant closure that sent Chipotle to its worst day in months.
  • Plus, a potential VMware bounce; the penny stock one analyst is buying; and crude futures sell off.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 25,415.19) added 108.4 points, or 0.4%, on the day, and 4.7% on the month. Nineteen Dow stocks closed the day higher, led by 3M and Pfizer, which each added 3.5%. Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) paced the 11 decliners with its 2.2% drop.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,816.29) gained 13.7 points, or 0.5%, while the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 7,671.79) rose 41.8 points, or 0.6%. In July, the SPX surged 3.6%, while the IXIC jumped 2.2%. 

The Cboe Volatility Index (VIX - 12.83) fell 1.4 points, or 10% -- bringing its monthly loss to 20.3%.

Closing Indexes Summary July 31

NYSE and Nasdaq Stats July 31

5 Items on our Radar Today

  1. Facebook (FB) said it removed a total of 24 Facebook and Instagram accounts it says were part of a coordinated effort to impact the U.S. midterm elections in November. FB stock closed up 0.9%, paring a portion of last week's sharp losses. (CNBC)
  2. Casino operator MGM Resorts (MGM) said it inked a three-year deal with the NBA and WNBA to become the official gaming partner of the basketball league. ESPN says the three-year deal, which sent MGM stock up about 2%, is worth at least $25 million. (Reuters)
  3. A rebound could be in store for VMware stock.
  4. One analyst initiated a "buy" rating on this underperforming penny stock.
  5. A surprise profit couldn't boost Shopify stock.

Corporate Earnings July 31

Unusual Options Activity July 31

Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

OPEC Output News Pressures Oil Prices

Oil prices plunged today, after a report indicated the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) crude output is at a year-to-date high. At the close, September-dated crude was down $1.37, or 2%, at $68.76 per barrel. For July, crude shed 7.3%.

Gold for December delivery closed the session up $2.10, or 0.2%, at $1,233.60 an ounce. Comparing most-active contracts, gold prices fell 1.7% in July -- their fourth straight month of losses.

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