S&P Rallies to Record After Fed Cuts Rates

Promising economic data and earnings from GE helped stocks settle higher, too

Deputy Editor
Oct 30, 2019 at 4:32 PM
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The Dow traded on both sides of the breakeven today, before eventually settling in positive territory, with all eyes on the Federal Open Market Committee's (FOMC) monetary policy decision. The central bank lowered its benchmark funds rate by 25 basis points as anticipated, and Fed Chair Jerome Powell said that inflation would need to rise "significantly" to consider a rate hike -- though he added that FOMC officials "see the current stance of monetary policy as likely to remain appropriate," downplaying the chances for more rate cuts in the near term.

It was a promising day on the earnings front, too, with General Electric (GE) posting a quarterly beat, while traders also digested upbeat economic data. As such, the Nasdaq and S&P 500 also closed the day in the black, with the latter index notching fresh record highs.

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

  • 2 insurance stocks pulling back to historically bearish trendlines before earnings. 
  • These 3 penny stocks made big moves today. 
  • Plus, traders eye Cigna stock before earnings; puts pop on EIX stock; and the FDA drama bruising AMAG stock. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 27,186.69) added 115.3 points, or 0.4%, closing near session highs. Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) led the 20 gainers on a 2.9% surge, while Chevron (CVX) fell to the bottom of the 10 losers with a 1.5% dip.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 3,046.77) tacked on 9.9 points, or 0.3%, for its best close ever. The Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 8,303) finished 27.1 points, or 0.3% higher.

The Cboe Volatility Index (VIX - 12.33) settled down 0.9 point, or 6.6%.

Closing Indexes Summary Oct 30 

NYSE and Nasdaq Stats Oct 30

5 Items on Our Radar Today

  1. Some analysts are apparently throwing cold water on Tesla's (TSLA) surprise quarterly profit last week. Cowen and Roth both weighed in this week, essentially telling investors to remain cautious with the stock, as some of last quarter's positive aspects may not be repeatable. (MarketWatch)
  2. Even more wildfires are cropping up in California, including one that ignited just outside Ronald Reagan library near Los Angeles. The National Weather Service issued an "extreme red flag" warning for Los Angeles and Ventura counties. (Reuters)
  3. A look at how Cigna stock is faring just ahead of tomorrow's earnings report. 
  4. Why options bears have been swarming Edison International stock
  5. The FDA news that rocked this healthcare stock today. 

Corporate Earnings Oct 30

Unusual Options Activity Oct 30

Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Oil Prices Fall After Inventories Update

Oil slipped today after a build-up in domestic crude inventories. December-dated crude futures settled down 48 cents, or 0.9%, to settle at $55.06 a barrel. 

Gold prices gained today before the Fed decision, with December gold futures rising $6, or 0.4%, to end at $1,496.70 an ounce. However, Powell's comments sent gold prices lower in electronic trading.


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