Profit-Taking, Stimulus Delay Put a Damper on Wall Street

Quadruple witching today likely led to some of the profit-taking

Digital Content Manager
Dec 18, 2020 at 4:30 PM
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Stocks ended the week with a thud, with all three major indexes closing lower on quadruple witching Friday, amid a bout of profit-taking. The main source of contention was the $900 billion stimulus package that is still pending in Congress, with last-minute disagreements putting a damper on progress. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said talks remained productive, though federal funding expires at noon tomorrow.

In response, the Dow shaved roughly 124 points, while the Nasdaq snapped a four-day win streak. Nevertheless, all three benchmarks scored intraday record highs out of the gate this morning, and walked away with weekly wins. Elsewhere, Wall Street's "fear gauge," the Cboe Volatility Index (VIX), logged its fourth-straight loss. 

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

  • This blue-chip stock has been flashing two bull signals.
  • Regeneron stock rose on its COVID-19 antibody cocktail results.
  • Plus, JNJ vaccine enters late-stage trials; FedEx stock drops post-earnings; and a cannabis sector roundup.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 30,179.05) dropped 124.3 points, or 0.4% for the day, and gained 0.4% for the week. Dow (DOW) led the Dow components with a 3.5% rise, while Intel (INTC) paced the laggards, falling 6.3%.

Meanwhile, the S&P 500 Index (SPX - 3,709.41) fell 13.1 points, or 0.4% for the day, and gained 1.3% for the week. The Nasdaq Composite (IXIC -12,755.64) was down 9.1 points, or 0.1%, for the day but added 2.9% on the week.

Lastly, the Cboe Volatility Index (VIX - 21.57) lost 0.4 point, or 1.6% for the day, and shed 7.5% for the week.

 Closing Summary Dec 18

nyse nasdaq Dec 18

  1. December is on pace to surpass April as the deadliest month of COVID-19 in the United States, when more than 60,738 Americans died from the disease. (CNBC)
  2. Online brokerage Robinhood will pay $65 million in penalties for misleading customers about its largest source of revenue: trading firms fees. (MarketWatch)
  3. JNJ in focus after as its vaccine candidate enters late-stage trial.
  4. Withheld 2021 guidance sends FedEx stock plummeting post-earnings.
  5. Take notice of these 11 cannabis stocks making headlines this week.

Earnings Dec 18

UVOL Dec 18

Oil Extends Winning Streak Thanks to Vaccine, Stimulus

Oil prices were higher today to nab their seventh consecutive weekly win, as investors remained hopeful the vaccine rollout would increase demand for products such as gas, and Congress leaders attempted to wrap up a stimulus deal. In addition, some believe the Organization of the Petroleum Countries (OPEC) will not increase its global supply demand in January, since it lowered its oil-demand forecast this week. In response, January-dated crude added 74cents, or 1.5%, to settle at $49.10 per barrel. For the week, black gold finished up over 5%.

Meanwhile, gold prices were lower, though the safe-haven commodity still managed to score a third consecutive weekly gain. The negative price action came as price cooled off from a nearly six-week high, with and to the pandemic now seemingly within reach. However, a weak U.S. dollar kept losses in check. As a result, February-dated gold fell $1.50, or 0.1% for the day, to settle at $1,888.90 an ounce. For the week, it was up 2.5%.



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