Dow Ends Volatile Session Up 171 Points

The Dow explored a 393-point trading range today

by Karee Venema

Published on Jan 23, 2019 at 4:31 PM

The Dow jumped nearly 300 points in early trading on a round of positive big-cap earnings reactions. By midday, though, the blue-chip index was in the red, with Reuters pointing to a warning from White House economic advisor Kevin Hassett that first-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) could be flat if the government shutdown extends through the end of March.

Traders also kept a close eye on developing news out of Venezuela. After President Donald Trump tweeted support for opposition leader Juan Guaido, Venezuelan President Nicolas Madura said he was breaking ties with the U.S., and giving American diplomats 72 hours to leave the country. By the close, though, the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq had muscled their way to wins.

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 24,575.62) was down 97 points at its intraday low, before settling up 171.1 points, or 0.7%. IBM (IBM) led the 17 Dow advancers with its 8.5% surge, while oil stocks Exxon Mobil (XOM) and Chevron (CVX) paced the 12 decliners, shedding 0.8% apiece. Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) finished flat.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,638.70) gained 5.8 points, or 0.2%, while the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 7,025.77) tacked on 5.4 points, or 0.1%.

The Cboe Volatility Index (VIX - 19.52) jumped above 22 around midday, before swinging to a 1.3-point, or 6.2%, decline.

Closing Indexes Jan 23

NYSE and Nasdaq Jan 23

5 Items on our Radar Today

  1. The Verizon Media Group said it's laying off roughly 800 employees, or 7% of its workforce. In a December regulatory filing, Verizon said it will incur a $4.6 billion write-down on its media business, formerly known as Oath, which was created as a result of the Yahoo and AOL merger. (CNBC)
  2. Streaming channel Hulu said it is lowering the cost of its most popular monthly plan to $5.99 from $7.99, and will increase the price of its live TV option by $5 to $44.99. This follows recent news of a Netflix price hike. (Reuters)
  3. History suggests Atlassian stock could be headed even higher.
  4. The catalyst behind this software stock's worst day in years.
  5. UBS upgraded this drug stock, calling it "too cheap to ignore."

Corporate Earnings Jan 23

Unusual Options Activity Jan 23

Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Oil Prices Volatile on U.S. Sanction Buzz

Oil prices dropped on reports the European Union (EU) could find ways to sidestep U.S. sanctions on Iran, but finished off the intraday lows after Trump's supportive tweet for Guaido sparked buzz of potential U.S. sanctions on Venezuelan crude oil exports. Crude for March delivery fell 39 cents, or 0.7%, to settle at $52.62 per barrel.

Gold prices edged higher today as the U.S. dollar cooled. February-dated gold added 60 cents, or 0.05%, to settle at $1,284 an ounce.

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