Nasdaq Outperforms on Semiconductor Stock Strength

A surprise rise in domestic crude inventories couldn't keep oil prices down

Jan 24, 2019 at 4:32 PM
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The Dow started the session in the red following hawkish comments from Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on U.S.-China trade negotiations -- though it was Ross's confusion over furloughed federal workers visiting food banks that became a major news story. The blue-chip index made a couple of brief forays into positive territory as well-received earnings out of the semiconductor sector fueled a strong day for tech stocks. But while the Nasdaq and S&P 500 managed wins in today's session, the Dow wasn't so resilient, as big-cap pharma stocks dropped on Bristol-Myers Squibb's (BMY) disappointing data.

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

  • The Citron note that spurred red-hot call volume.
  • 2 chart patterns that nailed YY stock's big move.
  • The cybersecurity stock Wedbush turned bullish on.
  • Plus, Intel call options hot; Caterpillar's red flag; and the chip stock at new highs.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 24,553.24) explored a 203-point range on both sides of breakeven before settling with a 22.4-point, or 0.09%, loss. Merck (MRK) led the 17 Dow decliners with its 3% drop, while Intel (INTC) paced the 13 advancers with its 3.8% gain.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,642.33) gained 3.6 points, or 0.1%, while the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 7,073.46) added 47.7 points, or 0.7%.

The Cboe Volatility Index (VIX - 18.89) shed 0.6 point, or 3.2%, to close below its 50-day moving average for a 14th straight session.

closing indexes jan 24

NYSE and Nasdaq Jan 24

5 Items on our Radar Today

  1. A group of 15 senators -- including Democrats Chuck Schumer of New York and Kamala Harris of California -- sent a letter calling on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to investigate the sale of location data by wireless carriers without user consent. This echoes a similar move made by lawmakers earlier this month, though the FCC said that probe was temporarily suspended due to the government shutdown. (CNET)
  2. Some of the major U.S. airlines reported earnings today, with American Airlines (AAL), JetBlue (JBLU), and Southwest Airlines (LUV) rallying on profit beats. However, the companies warned the government shutdown could have a negative impact on the air travel industry, with JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes warning of a "tipping point" the longer it goes on. (Reuters)
  3. Intel saw a surge in pre-earnings call volume.
  4. Caterpillar stock flashed a technical warning.
  5. This chip stock rallied to record highs after an upbeat forecast.

Corporate Earnings Jan 24

Unusual Options Activity Jan 24

Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Stronger Dollar Weighs on Gold Futures

The price of oil rose today as heightened expectations for U.S. sanctions on Venezuelan crude exports offset an unexpected weekly rise in domestic supplies. March-dated crude futures closed up 51 cents, or 1%, at $53.13 per barrel.

Gold prices took a hit as the U.S. dollar strengthened. Gold for April delivery -- now the most-active contract -- dropped $4.30, or 0.3%, to settle at $1,285.90 an ounce.


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