IBM, Williams Help Dow Avoid Third Straight Loss

A strong day for IBM kept the Dow above water

Jul 18, 2019 at 4:29 PM
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The Dow explored a 198-point range on both sides of breakeven today, with the blue-chip index ultimately avoiding a third straight loss thanks to a post-earnings pop for IBM (IBM). Gains for the Dow were modest, though, as a disappointing revenue forecast pressured UnitedHealth (UNH) stock. The S&P and Nasdaq managed to muscle to a win, too, even with a negative earnings reaction for Netflix (NFLX). The FAANG stock sank 10% today to log its longest losing streak since mid-May, down six days straight. Bolstering stocks in late-session trading were dovish comments from New York Fed President John Williams, who said the central bank should "act quickly" on a rate cut.

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 27,222.97) closed up 3.1 points. IBM (IBM) led 20 Dow advancers with its 4.6% gain, while UnitedHealth (UNH) and Boeing (BA) paced the 10 decliners, losing 2.3% apiece.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,995.11) added 10.7 points, or 0.4%, while the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 8,207.24) rose 22 points, or 0.3%.

The Cboe Volatility Index (VIX - 13.53) shed 0.4 point, or 3.1%.

Closing Indexes Summary July 18

NYSE and Nasdaq Stats July 18

5 Items on our Radar Today

  1. New York Fed President Williams advocated for injecting monetary stimulus into the economy when inflation is running too low. Speaking at a central banking conference in New York earlier, the voting member of the Federal Open Market Committee said, "When you only have so much stimulus at your disposal, it pays to act quickly to lower rates at the first sign of economic distress." (Reuters)
  2. In a vote of 231-199, the House of Representatives passed a bill that would gradually boost the minimum wage to $15 per hour from $7.25 per hour by 2025. The measure is unlikely to become law, though, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell earlier saying, "we're not going to be doing that in the Senate." (CNBC)
  3. Another bear note for Tiffany sparked heavy put trading.
  4. How options traders are preparing for Cleveland-Cliffs earnings.
  5. This weed stock got hit with a negative analyst note.

Corporate Earnings July 17

Unusual Options Activity July 18

Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Oil Slides for Fourth Straight Day

Oil prices rose in early trading on news Iran seized a foreign oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz, before swinging to its fourth straight loss on expectations Gulf of Mexico crude production will ramp up in the wake of last week's tropical depression Barry. August-dated crude surrendered $1.48, or 2.6%, to settle at $55.30 per barrel.

Gold futures rose for a second straight day, as the U.S. dollar cooled. Gold for August delivery rose $4.80, or 0.3%, to close at $1,428.10 an ounce. Further, gold rallied even higher in electronic trading after the Williams comments.


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