Small-Caps Outperform in Up Day for Stocks

The Dow, S&P, and Nasdaq all closed higher today

by Karee Venema

Published on Jan 7, 2019 at 4:35 PM

The Dow explored a 386-point trading range on both sides of breakeven, though bulls eventually triumphed. Trade talks between the U.S. and China sparked most of the optimism, as China's foreign ministry expressed willingness to work with Washington, and offset a five-month low reading in the Institute of Supply Management's (ISM) services sector index. And while the rally was broad-based -- both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq jumped, too -- small caps led the charge, with the Russell 2000 Index (RUT) adding 1.8%.

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 23,531.35) was up 254 points at its intraday peak, before settling with a 98.2-point, or 0.4%, gain. Twenty-two Dow stocks closed higher, led by a 2% gain for Home Depot (HD). Coca-Cola (KO) paced the eight decliners with its 1.3% drop.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,549.69) tacked on 17.8 points, or 0.7%, to settle just above its post-rate hike close from December. The Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 6,823.47) added 84.6 points, or 1.3%.

The Cboe Volatility Index (VIX - 21.40) added 0.02 point, or 0.09%.

Closing Indexes Summary Jan 7

NYSE and Nasdaq Jan 7

5 Items on our Radar Today

  1. Apollo Global Management (APO) is reportedly in talks to buy General Electric's (GE) jet-leasing division, with the business expected to fetch as much as $40 billion. The buzz earned GE stock an upgrade to "buy" from "hold" at CFRA, and sent the shares to their sixth straight win -- up 6.3%. (Bloomberg)
  2. Starboard Value revealed a 1.7% stake in Dollar Tree (DLTR), and is reportedly pushing the discount retailer to sell its Family Dollar unit. The activist investor also nominated two individuals to join DLTR's board of directors. The retail stock closed the session up 5.5%. (Reuters)
  3. China allegations leveled Natural Health Trends stock.
  4. These 2 biotechs have been blasted by bullish options traders.
  5. PG&E stock buried by bankruptcy buzz.

Corporate Earnings Jan 7

Unusual Options activity Jan 7

Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Oil Gains on Saudi Arabia Output Report

Oil prices closed higher, after Dow Jones reported Saudi Arabia plans to lower crude exports by 800,000 barrels per day. February-dated crude futures settled up 56 cents, or 1.2%, at $48.52 per barrel.

Gold futures got a boost today after the U.S. dollar cooled on the weak ISM reading. Gold for February delivery added $4.10, or 0.3%, to close at $1,289.90 an ounce.

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