Federal Reserve Puts a Damper on Wall Street

All major indexes cut earlier gains

Digital Content Manager
Aug 19, 2020 at 4:27 PM
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Wednesday's session ended on a grim note, after the Federal Reserve reminded investors of the threat the pandemic still poses to economic activity, employment, and inflation in its July meeting minutes. The warning put a damper on Wall Street, with all three major indexes cutting earlier gains.

The Dow ended firmly in the red, despite Apple's (AAPL) historical $2 trillion market cap crossing at its intraday highs. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite both suffered modest losses as well, while Wall Street's "fear gauge," the Cboe Volatility Index (VIX), logged back-to-back wins for the first time since July 7.

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

    • Options bulls eyed Lowe's stock after an earnings beat
    • A historically bullish signal is flashing for this solar energy stock. 
    • Plus, a grocery giant could surge even higher; Target stock delivers a stellar earnings report; and an apparel retailer nabs a record high after a bull note. 

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 27,692.88) dropped 85.2 points, or 0.3% for the day. Nike (NKE) finished with a 1.3% jump, pacing the eight gainers. 3M Co (MMM) paced the 22 laggards with a 0.1% fall.

    Meanwhile, the S&P 500 Index (SPX - 3,374.85) fell 14.9 points, or 0.4% for the day. The Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 11,146.46) slashed 64.4 points, or 0.6% for today's session.

    Lastly, the Cboe Volatility Index (VIX - 22.54) gained one point, or 4.8% for the day.

    Closing summary august 19

    nyse nasdaq august 19

    1. Facebook is updating its platform to make it easier for users to discover black-owned businesses nationwide, after many were affected by the pandemic. (CNBC)
    2. Universities that have opted to bring back students to campus are reporting rises in coronavirus cases, and some are switching back to online learning. (MarketWatch)
    3. A short squeeze could push this major grocery stock even higher.
    4. Target stock beat Wall Street's estimates as digital sales nearly tripled.
    5. This retail stock earned a price target hike thanks to increased demand

    earnings august 19

    unusual options august 19

    Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

    Gold Suffers Steep Fall as Dollar Regains Strength

    Oil futures finished lower on Wednesday, after government data showed a small drop in crude inventories. However, an encouraging decline in gasoline supplies cut further losses. Meanwhile, investors are eyeing the Organization for Petroleum and Energy Countries and allies (OPEC+) panel meeting, in which officials are expected to recommend sticking with the current schedule of production curbs in light of COVID-19. As a result, September-dated crude dropped 4 cents, or 0.1%, to end at $42.93 a barrel.

    Meanwhile, gold futures also finished lower, suffering a steep fall as the U.S. dollar regained strength. Traders were also looking ahead to key insights from the Federal Reserve's policy meeting, which provided an outlook for U.S. and global business. Gold for December, the most-active contract, fell $42.80, or 2.1%, to settle at $1,970.30 an ounce.


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