Fed Anxiety Keeps a Lid on Stocks

Gold prices swung lower after hitting a six-year high

Karee Venema
Jul 19, 2019 at 4:29 PM
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It was another choppy session for stocks, as traders digested a fresh round of earnings and a clarification on Thursday's comments from New York Fed President John Williams -- which sparked a tweetstorm from President Donald Trump. However, a Wall Street Journal report indicating the Fed will likely stick to a quarter-point rate cut at its July meeting instead of a half-point one pressured the Dow, S&P, and Nasdaq into the close, though the former's losses were limited thanks to a big day for Boeing (BA).

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 27,154.20) closed down 68.8 points, or 0.3%. American Express (AXP) led the 22 Dow losers with its 2.8% drop, while Boeing (BA) paced the eight advancers with its 4.5% gain. For the week, the blue-chip index shed 0.7%.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,976.61) fell 18.5 points, or 0.6%, while the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 8,146.49) gave back 60.8 points, or 0.7%. Week-over-week, the SPX and IXIC each dropped 1.2%.

The Cboe Volatility Index (VIX - 14.45) rose 0.9 point, or 6.8%. The market's "fear gauge" spiked 15.6% on the week.

Closing Indexes Summary July 19

NYSE and Nasdaq Stats July 19

5 Items on our Radar Today

  1. Consumer confidence improved slightly in July, according to data from the University of Michigan. Specifically, its consumer sentiment index rose to 98.4 from a June reading of 98.2, but arrived below the consensus estimate for a reading of 99. (MarketWatch)
  2. American Express (AXP) stock closed lower today, after the credit card concern forecast higher operating costs related to its ramped up rewards program. For the second quarter, specifically, card reward expenses jumped 9% to $2.65 billion. AXP did report stronger-than-expected profit of $2.07 per share in the three-month period. (Reuters)
  3. J C Penney stock plunged below the $1 per share mark today.
  4. This food name will report earnings bright and early Monday morning.
  5. AMC Entertainment stock popped on a big bull note.

Corporate Earnings July 19

Unusual Options Activity July 19

Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Oil Pares Stiff Weekly Loss on Iran News

Oil prices were buoyed by a BBC report that indicated Iran had seized a U.K. oil tanker in the Gulf of Oman. By the close, August-dated crude was up 33 cents, or 0.6%, at $55.63 per barrel. Black gold shed 7.6% for the week.

After brushing against a six-year peak of $1,454.40 in intraday action, August-dated gold swung to a $1.40, or 0.1%, loss to settle at $1,426.70 an ounce. On a weekly basis, gold prices jumped 1%.


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