Dow Pops After Fed Minutes

Oil and gold hit new 2019 highs in today's trading

Feb 20, 2019 at 4:28 PM
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Stocks spent most of the day cautiously higher ahead of the release of the Fed's meeting minutes. When the details of the January meeting finally hit at 2 p.m. ET, the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq all dipped into negative territory, after the central bank's somewhat downbeat commentary about economic conditions, adding that it will stay patient in raising rates and likely will quit shrinking its balance sheet by year's end. The Dow eventually outperformed on the day thanks to a strong showing from trade-sensitive Caterpillar (CAT), with the blue chip benefiting from U.S.-China trade deal hopes, while the Nasdaq barely extended its historic win streak.

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 25,954.44) added 63.1 points, or 0.2%, to notch a third straight win. CAT paced the 18 Dow gainers with a 3.3% advance, and the biggest of the 12 losers was Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA), down 3.5% on the day.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,784.70) gained 4.9 points, or 0.2%, and the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 7,489.07) edged out a 2.3-point, or 0.03%, win, to extend its stretch of positive sessions to eight -- its best such streak since August.

The Cboe Volatility Index (VIX - 14.02) fell to its lowest close since early October, settling down 0.9 point, or 5.8%.

closing indexes Feb 20

NYSE and Nasdaq Feb 20

5 Items on our Radar Today

  1. CNN is reporting that Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation is close to being over, and that Attorney General Bill Barr could announce its completion as early as next week. However, it is unclear if details of the report will be released to the public. (CNN)
  2. The European Union has formally backed a change in copyright rules that would directly affect Google and Facebook. The change is meant to ensure that publishers on the company's platforms are fairly compensated for their work. (Reuters)
  3. The streaming stock that saw a pre-earnings lift.
  4. Why call traders should consider AMD stock.
  5. 2 energy stocks that could fizzle.

Corporate Earnings Feb 20

Unusual Options Activity Feb 20

Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Oil and Gold Hit New Highs

Oil prices got a lift today, tapping year-to-date highs and extending their win streak to six sessions, as worries about oversupply eased. Expiring March-dated crude futures picked up 83 cents, or 1.5%, to end the day at $56.92 per barrel.

Gold prices touched fresh 10-month highs again today, benefiting from the upbeat buzz around U.S.-China trade talks. However, electronic trading sent the precious metal lower after the Fed minutes were released. April gold futures finished up $3.10, or 0.2%, at $1,347.90 an ounce.

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