Stocks Mixed as S&P 500, Nasdaq Hit New Highs

The tech sector was a notable winner today

Managing Editor
Jan 22, 2020 at 4:32 PM
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The Dow finished lower today despite strong IBM (IBM) earnings, erasing its earlier gains in the final hour of trading on a down day for Boeing (BA). The S&P 500 and Nasdaq closed in the black and nabbed new record highs, thanks to strength in the semiconductor sector. Investors also monitored updates on the coronavirus outbreak, after President Donald Trump told reporters that the U.S. has everything "totally under control," and trusts the information coming from China regarding the virus. 

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

  • The make-or-break VIX level we're watching, courtesy of Schaeffer's Senior V.P. of Research Todd Salamone.
  • Options traders blasted this red-hot drug stock.
  • Plus, MOMO struggles draw options bears; a post-earnings dip from JNJ; and a possible coronavirus vaccine.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 29,186.27) gave back 9.8 points. Intel (INTC) led the 15 winners once more with a 3.6% win, while Dow Inc (DOW) paced the other half of laggards with a 3.3% drop.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 3,321.75) added 1 point, or 0.03%, while the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 9,383.77) finished 13 points, or 0.1%, higher.

The Cboe Volatility Index (VIX - 12.91) gained 0.06 point, or 0.5%.

closing indexes summary jan 22

nyse and nasdaq stats jan 22

5 Items on Our Radar Today

  1. U.S. home sales roared to a nearly two-year high last month. Existing home sales increased by 3.6% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.54 million units in December, the most since February 2018. The surge can be attributed to lower mortgage rates and could signal a recovering housing market. (Reuters)
  2. 2020 presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren -- open in her desire to break up big banks -- wants U.S. bank stress tests to include plans about offsetting -change risks. Warren sent a letter today detailing the plans to top executives across the financial sector, including Bank of America (BAC), Goldman Sachs (GS), and Morgan Stanley (MS). (MarketWatch)
  3. Momo options bears are digging in right now.
  4. Johnson & Johnson stock suffered a post-earnings dip today.
  5. Moderna announced it was working on a coronavirus vaccine.

corporate earnings jan 22

unusual options activity jan 22

Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Oil Logs Lowest Close Since Dec. 3

Oil dropped today, as investor concerns about global supply remained in anticipation of a weekly rise in U.S. crude inventories, due out tomorrow because of the holiday-shortened week. March-dated crude futures lost $1.64, or 2.8%, to settle at $56.74 per barrel, the lowest settlement since Dec. 3. 

Gold prices also dipped today, as global markets react favorably to the lessening impact of the coronavirus. February gold futures fell $1.20, or 0.1%, to end at $1,556.70 an ounce.

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