Tariff Delay Hopes Buoy Markets

Stocks overcame early losses stemming from weak retail sales

by Lillian Currens

Published on May 15, 2019 at 4:31 PM

The Dow finished higher again today, amid reports that President Donald Trump will delay tariffs on European automobiles by up to six months. In addition, Wall Street cheered Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin's comments that he will likely head to Beijing soon to resume trade talks with China. The positive trade headlines helped the major market indexes reverse early losses stemming from weak economic data from both the U.S. and China, with the S&P and Nasdaq marking their second consecutive gains as well. 

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

  • 2 consumer product stocks that could stay hot next month. 
  • Don't toss Apple stock just yet, according to one signal.
  • 3 pharma stocks that made monster moves today. 
  • Plus, Macy's soars on an earnings beat; a bull signal flashing for one retailer; the activist chatter surrounding Legg Mason stock. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 25,648.02) gained 116 points, or 0.5%, in today's trading. Twenty-four of the Dow components finished higher, with Visa (V) leading on a 1.6% surge, and 3M (MMM) dropping to the bottom with a 0.6% loss. United Technologies (UTX) finished unchanged. 

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,850.96) ended 16.6 points, or 0.6%, higher, and  the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 7,822.15) ended 87.7 points, or 1.1%, higher.

The Cboe Volatility Index (VIX - 16.44) sunk 1.6 points, or nearly 9%. 

Closing Indexes Summary May 15

NYSE and Nasdaq Stats May 15

5 Items on our Radar Today

  1. The popular e-cigarette brand Juul is being sued by the state of North Carolina, on accusations that the brand "targeted young people as customers" and "downplayed" the dangers of nicotine in its pods. North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein said that as a result, we're facing "an epidemic among minors."  (CNBC)
  2. Former Vice President Joe Biden is leading the pack of Democratic presidential hopefuls. In a poll Wednesday, 29% of Dems and independent voters picked Biden as their choice for the primaries. This lead extended to all demographic fields except millennials, who favor U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders. (Reuters)
  3. Options bears are kicking rocks after Macy's earnings surprise.
  4. The bull signal flashing for Best Buy ahead of earnings. 
  5. Legg Mason stock moved on activist chatter. 

Corporate Earnings May 15

Unusual Options Activity May 15

Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Middle East Concerns Overshadow Oil Supply Surge

Oil prices were up again today, as traders prioritized growing tensions in the Middle East over a rise to 2017 highs in U.S. crude stockpiles last week. Traders also shrugged off a downwardly revised forecast for global oil demand from the International Energy Agency (IEA). Oil for June delivery tacked on 24 cents, or 0.4%, to end at $62.02 per barrel.

Gold inched higher, but failed to climb back atop the key $1,300 marker. June-dated gold rose $1.50, or 0.1%, to end at $1,297.80 an ounce. 


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