Stocks Cool Off, Nasdaq Streak Snapped

Gold suffered its worst session in months

Feb 21, 2019 at 4:27 PM
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A mostly downbeat round of economic data resulted in a risk-off session on Wall Street today, which only compounded concerns about the economy highlighted by yesterday's Fed meeting minutes. On top of a surprise drop in core capital goods orders in December, as well as disappointing numbers from the housing space, the manufacturing sector also flashed weakness with its PMI reading. Meanwhile, others likely maintained a wait-and-see approach as headlines suggest the U.S. and China have an outline for a trade deal. The Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq all closed in the red on the day, the latter snapping its eight-day win streak.

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

  • A long-term moving average could spark an Intercontinental Exchange rally. 
  • Behind Stifel's big Biogen downgrade.
  • Plus, Mylan flashes a bearish signal before earnings; the blue chip slapped with subpoenas; and the cybersecurity stock that sold off.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 25,850.63) gave back 103.8 points, or 0.4%, with 21 of the 30 blue chips closing in the red. Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) had the worst day, dropping 1.9%. Microsoft (MSFT) was at the top of the Dow, gaining 2.1%.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,774.88) closed down 9.8 points, or 0.4%, and the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 7,459.71) lost 29.4 points, or 0.4%.

The Cboe Volatility Index (VIX - 14.46) added 0.4 point, or 3.1%.

us stock market closing prices february 21

nyse and nasdaq stats feb 21

5 Items on our Radar Today

  1. It appears share buybacks are going to hit another all-time high in 2019. Last year saw more than $1 trillion in total corporate buybacks. The irony, of course, is that lawmakers this year have been proposing ways to curtail the growing trend. (CNBC)
  2. More companies are pulling their ads from YouTube as the child exploitation controversy continues. AT&T (T) is one notable company to remove its advertising from the video platform. (TechCrunch; Reuters)
  3. The bearish setup forming around Mylan shares. 
  4. Johnson & Johnson was slapped with subpoenas.
  5. The shares of this cybersecurity firm sold off today.

corporate earnings feb 21

unusual options volume feb 21

Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Inventories Report Drags Down Oil Prices

Another rise in domestic crude inventories weighed on oil prices today. April-dated crude futures fell 20 cents, or 0.4%, to $56.96 per barrel.

Gold prices fell today, likely in reaction to yesterday's somewhat dovish Fed minutes. Gold for April delivery gave back $20.10, or 1.5%, to end at $1,327.80 an ounce -- the metal's steepest one-day slide since August.


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