Pfizer, 3M Earnings Propel Dow to a Win

Oil prices reacted positively to U.S. sanctions on Petroleos de Venezuela

by Karee Venema

Published on Jan 29, 2019 at 4:36 PM

The Dow explored a 170-point trading range on both sides of breakeven, as Wall Street digested the latest round of blue-chip earnings. The index managed a modest gain by the close on positive reactions for Pfizer (PFE) and 3M (MMM). The S&P 500 and Nasdaq weren't so resilient, settling with losses as tech stocks sold off on fresh tensions between the U.S. and Chinese telecom giant Huawei. A round of negative economic data was also in focus, including a lower-than-expected reading on consumer confidence and the slowest pace of home-price growth in nearly four years.

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

  • This Dow ETF trendline should be on the radar of market technicians right now.
  • Time to target call options on this Apple supplier.
  • Facebook options are pricing in a volatile earnings move.
  • Plus, the cybersecurity stock upgraded to "strong buy"; pre-earnings bears blast Alibaba; and GameStop's latest gap lower.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 24,579.96) tacked on 51.7 points, or 0.2%. Pfizer (PFE) led 18 Dow stocks higher with its 3.1% gain, while Verizon (VZ) paced 12 decliners with its 3.3% loss.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,640.00) closed down 3.9 points, or 0.2%, while the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 7,028.29) surrendered 57.4 points, or 0.8%.

The Cboe Volatility Index (VIX - 19.13) added 0.3 point, or 1.4%, but closed south of its 100-day moving average for a fourth straight day.

Closing Indexes Summary Jan 29

NYSE and Nasdaq Jan 29

5 Items on our Radar Today

  1. The U.K. Parliament voted against an amendment that would have delayed Britain's exit from the European Union (EU) past the deadline of Friday, March 29. The bill to prevent a no-deal Brexit failed to pass by a vote of 321 to 298, and pressured the British pound. (Reuters)
  2. California utility company PG&E (PCG) filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection today, making good on its announcement from two weeks ago. This comes as the company faces massive liabilities in relation to deadly wildfires from 2017 and 2018, including $7 billion in claims for last fall's Camp Fire. (CNN)
  3. Why Raymond James upgraded cybersecurity name Carbon Black to "strong buy."
  4. Pre-earnings options bears blasted Alibaba.
  5. Behind GameStop's latest gap lower.

Corporate Earnings Jan 29

Unusual options activity Jan 29

Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Gold Climbs Further Above $1,300 an Ounce

Crude futures climbed on news of U.S. sanctions on Venezuela's state-owned oil firm Petroleos de Venezuela. Oil for March delivery added $1.32, or 2.5%, to close at $53.31 per barrel.

Gold rose for a third straight day as the Fed kicked off its policy-setting meeting. April-dated gold added $5.90, or 0.5%, to settle at $1,315.20 an ounce -- its highest close since June.

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