Nasdaq, S&P 500 Pivot Higher to Nab Fresh Records

Wall Street kept a close eye on President Joe Biden's Covid-19 relief plan today

Deputy Editor
Jan 21, 2021 at 4:37 PM
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Stocks ended Thursday's lukewarm trading session on a fairly high note. Though the Dow dipped 12 points to finish the day, it scored a new intraday high. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq traded steadily in the black for the majority of the day to finish with a record close, as investors geared up for a highly anticipated round of earnings from Big Tech next week. The S&P 500 wavered at breakeven for most of the day before finishing out with a fresh closing high as well, while Wall Street pored over President Joe Biden's Covid-19 rescue plan, which includes accelerated vaccine rollout and ramped up production of protective equipment. Also contributing to the upbeat sentiment was better-than-expected jobless data.

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

  • The red-hot payment stock ripe for a fresh round of bull notes.  
  • UAL's options pits popped off after a disastrous earnings report
  • Plus, SEDG hit with glowing analyst note; how to play Dropbox stock with options; and checking in with MSFT before earnings. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 31,176.01) fell 12.4 points, or 0.04% for the day. Intel (INTC) led the gainers with a 6.5% pop, while Chevron (CVX) fell to the bottom of the barrel with a 3.4% dip. 

Meanwhile, the S&P 500 Index (SPX - 3,853.07) settled 1.2 points, or 0.03% higher, and the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 13,530.91) rose 73.7 points, or nearly 0.6% for the day.

Lastly, the Cboe Volatility Index (VIX - 21.32) lost 0.3 point, or 1.2% for the day. 

Closing Indexes Summary Jan 21

NYSE and Nasdaq Stats Jan 21

  1. Former-President Donald Trump has yet to assemble a team of lawyers to defend him at his second impeachment trial, despite the possibility of it starting next week. (CNBC)
  2. A report published by the JPMorgan Chase Institute showed a 10% rise in stock prices correlated with a rise in average spending of just below 1%. (MarketWatch) 
  3. One big name in solar energy got bullish analyst attention today.
  4. How to play DropBox stock's recent pullback with options. 
  5. A look at Microsoft stock ahead of its highly anticipated earnings report. 

Corporate Earnings Jan 21

Unusual Options Activity Jan 21

Gold Softens in Light of Upbeat Economic Data

Gold gave back some of yesterday's gains, cooling off from a two-week high as a decline in unemployment claims and a rise in new-home construction data helped strengthen the U.S. dollar. This, in turn, put a damper on the precious metal, though some in Wall Street are contending that a pullback has been on the horizon. February-dated gold dropped 60 cents, or fewer than 0.1%, to finish at $1,865.90 per ounce.

Oil prices pulled back on Thursday as well, as investors eyed tomorrow's Energy Information Administration (EIA) data, which is expected to show a decline of 2.5 million barrels in U.S. crude supply. March-dated crude dropped 18 cents, or 0.3% for the day, to settle at $53.13 per barrel.

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