Dow Drifts Lower as Trade Deadline Looms

A report that the U.S. might delay raising tariffs on Chinese goods did little to move stocks

Deputy Editor
Dec 10, 2019 at 4:30 PM
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The Dow explored a 145-point trading range today, before settling south of breakeven, as Wall Street proceeded with caution ahead the Dec. 15 deadline when the U.S. is expected to lift tariffs on some Chinese goods. A report from The Wall Street Journal indicated that these looming tariffs could be delayed, even as separate headlines suggested a phase-one trade deal between the two sides may not be reached this week. Elsewhere, traders eyed the start of the Fed's two-day policy meeting, which kicked off today, though the central bank is expected to hold steady on interest rates. 

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

  • This pharma stock's rally could have legs, if history is any indicator. 
  • Options bulls see a strong finish to 2019 for Comcast stock. 
  •  Plus, INFO could head even higher; this FAANG stock was downgraded again; and SFIX enters the earnings arena. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 27,881.72) lost 27.9 points, or 0.1%. Fifteen out of the 30 blue chips ended higher. UnitedHealth (UNH) paced the winners with a 0.7% pop, while 3M (MMM) sunk to the bottom of the barrel on a 1.3% drop.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 3,132.52) fell roughly 3.4 points, or 0.1%, while the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 8,616.18) shed 5.6 points, or 0.07%. 

The Cboe Volatility Index (VIX - 15.68) slipped 0.2 point, or 1.1%. 

Closing Indexes Summary Dec 10

NYSE and Nasdaq Stats Dec 10

5 Items on Our Radar Today

  1. Boeing (BA) announced a monthly rise in orders for its 737 Max airplanes for the first time since January, including two orders for 30 of the heavily scrutinized jets last month. This comes after the 737 Max jets were grounded earlier this year following a pair of fatal crashes, resulting in 84 lost orders so far in 2019. (CNBC)
  2. Exxon Mobil (XOM) was cleared of charges brought against it by the state of New York, which accused the oil company of misleading investors on the cost of climate change regulations, causing them to lose $1.6 billion. The firm called the investigation "baseless," with spokesperson Casey Norton adding that "we provided our investors with accurate information on the risks of climate change." (Reuters)
  3. The analytics name that could clock its 12th straight monthly win
  4. Put traders bombarded this FAANG stock after yet another downgrade. 
  5. How SFIX stock fared after today's earnings report. 

Corporate Earnings Dec 10

Unusual Options Activity Dec 10

Gold Gains as Dollar Cools

Oil eked out a win today, as traders eyed conflicting U.S.-China trade headlines. January-dated crude futures added 22 cents, or 0.4%, to settle at $59.24 per barrel.  

Gold prices closed higher as the U.S. dollar cooled. February gold futures added $3.20, or 0.2% to settle at $1,468.10 an ounce. 

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