S&P Cools as Wall Street Looks to Fed Meeting

An earnings miss from GOOGL had the Nasdaq firmly in the red

by Lillian Currens

Published on Oct 29, 2019 at 4:28 PM

After trading on both sides of breakeven, the Dow settled slightly lower, as attention turns toward tomorrow's Federal Reserve announcement, where a 25-basis-point rate cut is anticipated. The S&P also hit another record high earlier today, before eventually settling just below breakeven. The Nasdaq, however, was firmly planted in the red today, after a discouraging earnings report from FAANG name Alphabet (GOOGL) slammed tech stocks. 

Blue chips Pfizer (PFE) and Merck (MRK), on the other hand, helped pare some of the Dow's losses on well-received earnings reports. On the U.S.-China trade front, some of yesterday's optimism depleted on a report from Reuters that a "phase one" trade deal may not be completed in time for the countries' leaders to sign it at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in November. However, the White House official said that "good progress is being made."

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 27,071.42) lost 19.3 points, or 0.1%. Merck topped the 11 gainers with a 3.5% pop, while Apple (AAPL) fell to the bottom of the 19 losers with a 2.3% dip.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 3,036.89) inched 2.5 points, or 0.1%, lower. The Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 8,276.85) shed 49.1 points, or 0.6%.

The Cboe Volatility Index (VIX - 13.20) eked out a 0.1-point, or 0.7%, win.

Closing Indexes Summary Oct 29 

NYSE and Nasdaq Stats Oct 29

5 Items on Our Radar Today

  1. Guy Cartwright has reportedly accepted a position as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Juul Labs, amid a C-Suite shake-up that includes the departure of Chief Administrative Officer Ashley Gould and Chief Marketing Officer Craig Brommers. The e-cigarette company also sent out a company-wide email just yesterday saying it plans on slashing over 500 jobs by the end of 2019.  (CNBC)
  2. Privately held U.S. coal concern Murray Energy filed for bankruptcy today. The company's founder Robert Murray, a vehement climate change denier and supporter of President Donald Trump, also announced his resignation. Murray Energy is just one of many coal producers that have recently struggled as renewable energy and cleaner natural gas continue to stir up competition. (Reuters)
  3. The technical signal that could mean more upside for AMAT stock ahead of earnings.
  4. Why traders might want to hold off on buying U.S. Steel stock this week. 
  5. Behind the red-hot options action surrounding GrubHub after its quarterly report. 

Corporate Earnings Oct 29

Unusual Options Activity Oct 29

Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

U.S. Crude Inventories Expectations Sink Oil 

An expected pop in U.S. crude inventories sunk oil prices. December-dated crude futures finished down 27 cents, or 0.5%, to settle at $55.54 a barrel. 

Demand for gold continued to weaken today, with prices dropping to one-week lows amid some remaining U.S.-Sino trade optimism. Gold futures for December delivery lost $5.10, or 0.3%, to end at $1,490.70 per ounce. 

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