Trade, Tech Spark Risk-On Session for Stocks

Oil prices jumped more than 4% this week

by Karee Venema

Published on Mar 15, 2019 at 4:30 PM

Stocks closed out the week with a bang, as renewed hope over a potential U.S.-China trade deal offset a dismal batch of economic data -- including a lower-than-expected rise in industrial production last month. Another strong day for tech only stoked the bullish flames, with chip stocks surging after Broadcom (AVGO) earnings and Apple (AAPL) notching a sixth straight win. Against this backdrop, the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq all scored impressive wins on the day and on the week, with the latter indexes notching their best week of 2019.

  • Options traders reacted to red-hot Cree.
  • The risks and rewards of buying and selling options.
  • Plus, a bold Amazon price target; the regulatory buzz that boosted Arcadia; and behind Ulta's new high.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 25,848.87) was up 217 points at its session high, before paring these gains to 138.9 points, or 0.5%. Intel (INTC) paced the 23 Dow advancers with its 1.7% pop, while Coca-Cola (KO) led the seven decliners with its 0.9% loss. For the week, the DJI added 1.6%.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,822.48) rose 14 points, or 0.5%, while the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 7,688.53) added 57.6 points, or 0.8%. Week-over-week, the SPX jumped 2.9%, and the IXIC surged 3.8%.

The Cboe Volatility Index (VIX - 12.88) fell 0.6 point, or 4.6%, for its lowest settlement since Oct. 3. On a weekly basis, the market's "fear gauge" gave back 19.8%.

Closing Indexes Summary 315

NYSE and Nasdaq Stats March 15

5 Items on our Radar Today

  1. Boeing (BA) today said it will roll out a software upgrade for its globally grounded 737 MAX 8 jets in the coming weeks. BA shares ended the day higher, but lost more than 10% this week. (Reuters)
  2. Qualcomm (QCOM) scored a legal win against Apple -- a first for the chipmaker. A federal judge in San Diego awarded the company roughly $31.6 million in damages related to its patent infringement claims against Apple. (Bloomberg)
  3. KeyBanc set a lofty Amazon price target.
  4. A big regulatory win had Arcadia Biosciences soaring.
  5. Ulta Beauty stock hit a record high thanks to blowout earnings.

Corporate Earnings March 15

Unusual Options Activity March 15

Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Oil, Gold Nab Weekly Wins

Oil prices took a breather following their recent run higher, even as the U.S rig count fell for a third consecutive week. At the close, oil for April delivery was down 9 cents, or 0.2%, at $58.52 per barrel. For the week, crude surged 4.4%.

A weaker U.S. dollar buoyed gold prices today, with the April-dated contract adding $7.80, or 0.6%, to close at $1,302.90 an ounce. For the week, the malleable metal gained 0.3%.

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