Dow Drops as Oil Takes Breather

Merck and Chevron were the Dow's notable laggards

by Patrick Martin

Published on Jan 7, 2020 at 4:33 PM

The Dow turned in a triple-digit loss today, as rough outings from Merck (MRK) and Chevron (CVX) overshadowed upbeat U.S. services data. The blue-chip index pared a wider triple-digit deficit, though, amid fewer headlines regarding U.S.-Iran tensions. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq joined the Dow in the red, with the latter giving up last-minute gains despite a strong push higher from the semiconductor sector.

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

  • This blue chip kicks off earnings season tomorrow.
  • Call traders hammered this surging chip stock.
  • Plus, Tesla stock cannot be stopped; a cybersecurity stock to watch; and trouble for PIR. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 28,583.68) lost 119.7 points, or 0.4%. Boeing (BA) paced the six winners with a 1.1% win, while MRK led the 24 losers with a 2.7% drop.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 3,237.18) lost 9.1 points, or 0.3%, while the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 9,068.58) finished 2.9 points lower.

The Cboe Volatility Index (VIX - 13.79) lost 0.06 point, or 0.4%.

closing indexes summary jan 7

nyse and nasdaq stats jan 7

5 Items on Our Radar Today

  1. U.S. mortgage rates for a 30-year fixed mortgage fell last week. The average rate dropped to 3.69%, the lowest since October, signaling a housing market that could be heating up to start 2020. A monthly survey from Fannie Mae also indicated December buyer sentiment was high. (CNBC)
  2. A study shows that U.S. greenhouse emissions fell last year by 2.1%, as coal-fired electricity output plunged 18% to a 44-year low. However, the study also warned that additional declines will not occur without rapid policy changes. (Reuters)
  3. Tesla stock cannot be stopped.
  4. This cybersecurity stock could actually benefit from Middle East tensions.
  5. Pier 1 Imports is shuttering half of its stores.

corporate earnings jan 7

unusual options activity january 7

Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Gold Logs 10th Straight

Oil took a breather today, snapping a three-day winning streak, as the risk of supply disruptions amid heightened Middle East tensions cooled. February-dated crude futures shed 57 cents, or 0.9%, to end at $62.70 per barrel.

Gold logged its 10th straight win today, its best winning streak in two years. February gold futures settled up $5.50, or 0.4%, to end at $1,574.30 an ounce, its highest close since April 2013.

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