Stocks Reverse Course In Final Hour

The Dow was down over 600 points at its session lows before ending higher

by Patrick Martin

Published on Dec 27, 2018 at 4:37 PM

Stocks finished higher in an eleventh-hour scramble today, as Wall Street continued its violent bout of volatility in the aftermath of yesterday's biggest Dow point gain ever. The Dow finished 260 points in the black -- well off its 611-point intraday decline -- despite a drop in consumer confidence and geopolitical drama out of China that sparked early anxiety among investors. Elsewhere, the partial federal government shutdown drags on, with President Donald Trump and Democrats refusing to budge on their border security positions. 

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

  • Waste Management stock just flashed a trusty "buy" signal.
  • Snake-bitten Nvidia stock slapped with another bear note. 
  • Plus, a Cowen top pick's can't-miss chart; Visa buys a British firm; and gold gains again.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 23,138.82) closed the day up 260.4 points, or 1.1%.  Of the 30 Dow components, 28 finished higher, led by a gain of 2.4% for 3M (MMM). Apple (AAPL) paced the two decliners with a 0.7% drop.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,488.83) climbed 21.1 points, or about 0.9%. The Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 6,579.49) advanced 25.1 points, or 0.4%.

The Cboe Volatility Index (VIX - 29.96) ended the day lower, down 0.5 point, or 1.5%. Earlier, the VIX traded as high as 33.80.

closing indexes summary december 27

nyse and nasdaq stats december 27

5 Items on our Radar Today

  1. The U.S. and China have agreed to hold face-to-face trade discussions in January, as reported by China's commerce ministry. The two global superpowers have been at odds for the better half of a year over tariff and trade disputes. The two sides last met in person on Dec. 1 at the G-20 summit in Argentina. (Reuters)
  2. Beginning in early 2019, Apple (AAPL) will assemble its top-end iPhone X in Southern India through Foxconn. The decision limits the impact of iPhone assembly in China amid a terse trade war with the U.S. (Reuters)
  3. This Cowen top pick just flashed a "buy" signal.
  4. BofA-Merrill Lynch thinks this energy stock has hit bottom.
  5. Visa stock was in the spotlight on M&A news.

There are no earnings to report.

unusual options activity december 27

Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Oil Pulls Back; Gold Logs Third Straight Gain

Oil futures ended lower, tracking earlier losses in U.S. stocks. February-dated crude futures finished down $1.61, or 3.5%, at $44.61 per barrel, its fourth loss in the past five sessions.

Gold futures finished higher for a third straight gain, as the demand for a safe-haven asset remains strong amid rampant stock market volatility. February-dated gold futures added $8.10, or 0.6%, to settle at $1,281.10 an ounce.

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