Dow Gains Ahead of Election Results

Traders' attention could turn from the election results to the upcoming Fed meeting

by Josh Selway

Published on Nov 6, 2018 at 4:32 PM
Updated on Nov 6, 2018 at 4:36 PM

U.S. stocks managed gains today, as Wall Street kept a close eye on the start of U.S. midterm elections. Powered by a rally in IBM shares, it was a steady climb higher for the Dow, with the index rallying into the close to grab a second straight win. The Nasdaq and S&P 500 also had solid sessions, thanks mostly to broad strength out of the tech sector. Looking past tonight's election results, traders may also start focusing on the upcoming Fed meeting, set to begin tomorrow.

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

  • How the last midterm blue wave moved markets, according to Schaeffer's Senior Quantitative Analyst Rocky White.
  • Beauty name Ulta received its second bull note this week
  • 2 pharma stocks made volatile moves after earnings.
  • Plus, job openings slip; Morgan Stanley's favorite auto parts pick; and Disney rumors drive options traders.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 25,635.01) jumped 173.3 points, or 0.7%, closing right at session highs. IBM stock led the way for the 21 Dow gainers, adding 2.5%, with Caterpillar (CAT) also recording a respectable 2.3% win. The worst performing blue chip was Nike (NKE) down 1.2% at the close, and Verizon (VZ) closed flat.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,755.45) added 17.1 points, or 0.6%, and the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 7,375.96) managed a 47.1-point, or 0.6%, gain.

The Cboe Volatility Index (VIX - 19.91) edged down just 0.05 point, or 0.3%.

Closing Indexes Summary Nov 6

NYSE and Nasdaq Stats Nov 6

5 Items on our Radar Today

  1. According to the Labor Department’s JOLTS survey for September, over 7 million job openings remain vacant, a level that exceeds the 6.08 million worker unemployment rate. This is a slight dip from the record high of 7.3 million job openings reported for August. Labor economist Julia Pollak says the month-over-month decline could be due to companies hiring seasonal labor “earlier than ever before ahead of the holiday season and new year.” (CNBC)
  2.  An internal calculation error at Wells Fargo (WFC) led to more home foreclosures than previously expected. The bank said that 545 of the 870 customers who were incorrectly denied mortgage changes lost their homes to foreclosure. This follows a previous disclosure in August that 400 customers’ homes under a federal assistance program were improperly sent into foreclosure proceedings. (Reuters)
  3. Morgan Stanley named its top pick of three auto parts stocks.
  4. Options traders are pessimistic ahead of Groupon earnings.
  5. Disney rumors attracted call traders to this software stock.

Corporate Earnings Nov 6

Unusual Options Activity November 6

Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Oil, Gold Futures Fall

Oil prices just narrowly avoided closing in bear market territory today, following President Donald Trump’s Iran sanction waivers. Oil for December delivery tumbled 89 cents, or 1.4%, to settle at $62.21 a barrel.

December gold futures edged lower as the U.S. dollar strengthened ahead of election results, the lowest it has been since last week. It fell  $6, or 0.5% lower, ending at $1,226.30 per ounce.

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