Stocks End Seesaw Session Lower with Powell, Data In Focus

Weak sessions from Caterpillar and Home Depot kept the Dow down

Josh Selway
Feb 26, 2019 at 4:29 PM
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U.S. stocks traded on both sides of breakeven today, as traders digested earnings, economic data, and commentary from Fed Chair Jerome Powell. The Dow ultimately ended lower, on Home Depot's (HD) poor earnings reaction and an analyst-induced Caterpillar (CAT) pullback, while tech strength couldn't keep the Nasdaq and S&P 500 afloat. Also grabbing headlines was a surprisingly strong consumer confidence report for February, which helped to offset ugly housing data. Powell's congressional testimony was in focus, too, with the Fed leader insisting the central bank will remain flexible with interest rates and its balance sheet reduction.

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 26,057.98) settled down 34 points, or 0.1%, even though 16 of its 30 components closed in the black. Cisco Systems (CSCO) had the best day, rising 0.8%, while CAT's 2.4% decline put it at the bottom of the Dow.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,793.90) gave back 2.2 points, or 0.1%, and the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 7,549.30) dipped 5.2 points, or 0.1%.

The Cboe Volatility Index (VIX - 15.17) moved up 0.3 point, or 2.2%.

Closing Summary Feb 26

NYSE and Nasdaq Feb 26

5 Items on our Radar Today

  1. A federal appeals judge ruled today to allow AT&T's (T) purchase of Time Warner, dealing a blow to the U.S. Department of Justice. AT&T formally closed the deal back in July. (CNBC)
  2. Walmart is looking to ramp up its advertising business, announcing today it's combining its digital and in-store advertising teams. The move comes as many analysts have cited the growth opportunity in advertising for retail rival Amazon.com (AMZN). (Reuters)
  3. Signal says American Airlines could be due to sink
  4. The deal that had pot stock Aphria climbing the charts.
  5. Inside Vitamin Shoppe's huge earnings move.

Corporate Earnings Feb 26

Unusual Options Activity Feb 26

Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Little Movement in Oil and Gold

Oil prices gained slightly today after Monday's deep losses. April-dated crude futures finished with a 2-cent, or 0.05%, gain to end at $55.550 per barrel.

Gold prices failed to gain today despite weakness in the dollar. Gold for April delivery fell $1, or 0.1%, to $1,328.50 an ounce.


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