Earnings Season Highlights

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A collection of noteworthy post-earnings reactions
Published on Jan 21, 2021 at 4:37 PM
Updated on Jan 21, 2021 at 4:49 PM
  • Market Recap

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.

Published on Jan 21, 2021 at 2:45 PM
  • Analyst Update
  • Earnings Preview

Texas Instruments Inc (NASDAQ:TXN) is in the spotlight today, after receiving a pair of bull notes in the form of price-target hikes. The stock has been steadily climbing on the charts since bottoming out during the broader market's mid-March pullback, resulting in Oppenheimer and Citigroup raising their price targets to $185 and $201, respectively. In response, TXN was boosted to a fresh record high of $175.36 before the stock pulled back, down 0.3% at $172.79 at last check. 

TXN Jan21

Today's price action also comes ahead of next week's fourth-quarter earnings, due out after the bell on Jan. 26. Leading up to the event, the options market is pricing in a post-earnings move of 5.2%, which is higher than the security's average post-earnings swing of 4.3% from Texas Instrument's last eight reports, regardless of direction. A look back at these reports shows that TXN closed five of these next-day sessions higher, including a 6.9% pop in January of 2019. 

A round of upgrades/further price-target hikes could be on the horizon for TXN. Of the 21 analysts in coverage, 13 carry a "hold" or worse rating on the stock. Furthermore, the 12-month consensus price target of $162.04 is a 6.7% discount to current levels.

There's plenty of pessimism in the options pits as well. The equity's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 2.00 stands higher than all other readings from the past year -- indicating options traders haven't been more put-biased in the last 12 months. 

Lastly, now could be a good time to weigh in on TXN with options. The stock's Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 31% stands higher than just 13% of all other readings in its annual range, implying that options players are pricing in relatively low volatility expectations at the moment. 

Published on Jan 21, 2021 at 10:58 AM
Updated on Jan 21, 2021 at 2:25 PM
  • Intraday Option Activity
  • Buzz Stocks
Today's options activity leans bearish, however, with over 43.000 calls and 44,000 puts exchanged so far -- four times what's normally seen at this point. Most popular are the weekly 2/5 41-strike put, followed by the 1/22 43-strike call with positions being opened at both. 
Published on Jan 21, 2021 at 12:18 PM
Updated on Jan 21, 2021 at 12:29 PM
  • Midday Market Check

Stocks have pulled back slightly this afternoon. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) was last seen down roughly 40 points, while the S&P 500 Index (SPX) is struggling for direction. The Nasdaq Composite (IXIC), meanwhile, still boasts modest gains as investors anticipate promising earnings from several Big Tech names, including Facebook (FB), Microsoft (MSFT) and Apple (AAPL). All three major indexes also touched brand new highs earlier today, as hopes of a faster vaccine rollout and further stimulus under President Joe Biden -- who is already setting his rescue plan in motion through a number of executive orders -- boosted sentiment. 

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

  • The analyst betting on PayPal's growing Bitcoin initiative
  • Fastly stock surges after Oppenheimer turns positive on product launch.
  • Plus, options bulls circle LLNW after CEO appointment; energy stock surges on $2 billion offering; and AA stock plummets on disappointing Q1 guidance.

MMC 0121

One stock seeing notable options activity today is Limelight Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ:LLNW), last seen up 1.2% to trade at $4.38, after the content delivery name appointed growth executive Bob Lyons from Alert Logic as its new president and CEO, effective Feb.1. And while the stock received a price-target cut from D.A. Davidson to $4.50 from $5 in response, the bear note has done little to deter options bulls. So far, 21,000 calls have crossed the tape, which is 19 times the intraday average. Most popular is the monthly March 4.50 call, followed by the February 5 call, with new positions being opened at both. The security has had a volatile run on the charts over the past 12 months, falling to an Oct. 30 one-year low of $3.43 after surging to a July 2, nine-year high of $8.19. As a result, LLNW carries a 16.3% year-over-year deficit. 

Near the top of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) today is NGL Energy Partners LP (NYSE:NGL), up 35.5% at $3.53 at last check, after the security announced an offering of over $2 billion in senior secured notes. The equity has been struggling to make a comeback since dropping to a March 18, all-time low of $1.15, chopping lower from an early June rally to the $7 mark. Now, the security is testing its recently resistant 100-day moving average, however, and quarter-to-date NGL has added 56.3%.

Near the bottom of the NYSE today is Alcoa Corp (NYSE:AA), last seen down 9.5% to trade at $20.68, after aluminum name reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings, but weaker first-quarter guidance that missed Wall Street's expectations. The stock has been cooling off since quadrupling off its March all-time-lows near the $5 mark to hit a Jan. 7, annual high of $26.20. What's more, this drop has the equity slipping below the formerly supportive 40-day moving average. In the last nine months, however, AA has tacked on 187.1%. 

AA 40 Day

Published on Jan 21, 2021 at 12:00 PM
  • The Week Ahead

The first month of 2021 is set to end with a packed schedule, giving investors plenty to look forward to following an eventful beginning to the new year. Though Monday starts slow, Tuesday features the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) home price index, amongst other notable indexes. Midweek, there will be a press conference with Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, and another fresh batch of jobless data is due out. A plethora of data is slated for Friday, including the latest Chicago Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI).

The earnings front is as noisy as ever, with a mix of Dow components as well as big companies set to report. As far as the blue-chip bunch goes, 3M (MMM), Boeing (BA), McDonald's (MCD), Microsoft (MSFT), and Visa (V) will throw their hats in the earnings ring. Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), Starbucks (SBUX), and Tesla (TSLA) will step up to the plate as well.

Below is a list of key market events scheduled for the upcoming week. All economic dates listed below are tentative and subject to change.

Things begin slowly on Monday, Jan. 25, which is free of economic data.

Tuesday, Jan. 26 picks up the pace, with the Case-Shiller home price, FHFA home price, and consumer confidence indexes all due out.

Things will continue to heat up on Wednesday, Jan. 27. Durable and core capital goods orders are set to be released that day. In addition, the Federal Open Market Committee's (FOMC) two-day meeting will conclude with the latest decision on interest rates, as well as a press conference from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.

Another batch of initial and continuing jobless claims data is set for Thursday, Jan. 28. Meanwhile, gross domestic product (GDP), new home sales, and leading economic indicators data are also expected, as well as an advance report on trade in goods.

Closing out the week with a bang, Friday, Jan. 29 features both the employment cost and final consumer sentiment indexes, and the Chicago PMI. Also on deck is personal income, consumer spending, and core inflation data.

Published on Jan 21, 2021 at 10:09 AM
Updated on Jan 21, 2021 at 11:02 AM
  • Buzz Stocks

The shares of PayPal Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:PYPL) are up 1.4% at $247.59 this morning, following an upgrade from BTIG. The analyst in question lifted the company's rating to "buy" from "neutral," citing a shift toward digital payments during the pandemic, and PayPal's long-term growth trajectory with its recent Bitcoin initiative, which allows users to deal cryptocurrencies using their service. 

Analysts were already overwhelmingly bullish coming into today, with 26 of the 31 in coverage calling PYPL a "buy" or better, with not a "sell" to be seen. Meanwhile, the consensus 12-month price target of $244.92 stands roughly in line with current levels.

This could bring in more bull notes, considering PayPal stock's impressive trajectory over the past year. The equity's mid-March pullback was merely a whisper compared to the plummet many stocks suffered when the pandemic first hit. PYPL quickly recovered from those losses, and has been hitting record highs on a near monthly basis since May. In fact, the security is just within striking distance of its Jan. 14 peak of $249.85, with solid support from the 20-day moving average and a 111.4% year-over-year lead.

Option bulls have gotten in on the rally, too. In the past 10 weeks, 3.24 calls have been picked up for every put at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX). This ratio stands higher than 94% of readings from the past year, suggesting a much healthier appetite for long calls of late. 

What's more, PayPal's Schaeffer's Volatility Scorecard (SVS) ranks at an elevated 88 out of a possible 100. This means the security has tended to exceed these volatility expectations during the past 12 months -- a boon for options buyers. 

Published on Jan 21, 2021 at 10:52 AM
  • Best and Worst Stocks

Online payment provider Square Inc. (NYSE:SQ) has been a stock to watch over the past five years. The equity has dominated the charts since its 2015 initial public offering (IPO), and is now up nearly 1,700%. This surge has only gotten more impressive in 2020, with shares up roughly 250%. There is still plenty of pent-up pessimism surrounding SQ, however, indicating the equity still has room to run -- the perfect pick for options bulls. 

Short interest is still inching higher, and now makes up almost 8% of SQ’s available float, or nearly three days’ worth of pent-up buying power. Should some of this positive price action begin to spook bulls, an unwinding of shorts could put additional wind at the equity’s back. 

An unraveling of bearish sentiment among the brokerage bunch could give SQ a boost, too. The stock sports a surprising number of "hold" or worse ratings, while 19 of the 34 analysts in coverage call Square stock a "buy" or better. Adding to this, the 12-month consensus price target of $197.01 is a 10% discount to current levels, which might inspire some of these analysts to lift their estimates soon. 

Square (NYSE:SQ) Stock Pick 2021

Tony Venosa, CMT, is a Senior Options Strategist at Schaeffer's Investment Research. He's has over 20 years of trading experience under his belt -- including a stint in the mid-'90s clerking in the S&P 500 trading pits in Chicago, plus time spent as a commodity broker and proprietary day trader. A graduate of Miami University with a B.S. in finance and decision sciences, Venosa earned his Chartered Market Technician designation in 2008, and has been part of Schaeffer's in-house research team since 2010.

Published on Jan 21, 2021 at 10:47 AM
Updated on Jan 21, 2021 at 10:50 AM
  • Analyst Update
 
Published on Jan 21, 2021 at 9:47 AM
  • Buzz Stocks

One Strategy For Dropbox Options Traders

by Schaeffer's Digital Content Team
 
Published on Jan 21, 2021 at 9:21 AM
Updated on Jan 21, 2021 at 9:23 AM
  • Opening View
 
Published on Jan 21, 2021 at 7:26 AM
  • Buzz Stocks

Today's Stock Market News & Events: 1/21/2021

by Schaeffer's Digital Content Team

Today comes with initial and continuing jobless claims, housing starts, building permits, and the latest Philadelphia Federal Reserve Manufacturing index. Plus, a ton of companies are slated to release earnings today.

The following companies are slated to release quarterly earnings reports today, January 21:

Baker Hughes Company (NYSE:BKR -- $22.89) provides a portfolio of technologies and services. Baker Hughes will report its fourth-quarter earnings of 2020 before the bell today.

Banc of California, Inc. (NYSE:BANC -- $17.95) operates as the bank holding company for Banc of California, National Association. Banc of California will report its fourth-quarter earnings of 2020 before the bell today.

BankUnited, Inc. (NYSE:BKU -- $38.50) operates as the bank holding company for BankUnited. BankUnited will report its fourth-quarter earnings of 2020 before the bell today.

Fifth Third Bancrop (NASDAQ:FITB -- $31.33) operates as a diversified financial services company. Fifth Third will report its fourth-quarter earnings of 2020 before the bell today.

Flagstar Bancorp, Inc. (NYSE:FBC -- $45.35) operates as a savings and loan holding company for Flagstar Bank, FSB. Flagstar Bancorp will report its fourth-quarter earnings of 2020 before the bell today.

Home Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:HOMB -- $21.30) operates as the bank holding company for Centennial Bank. Home Bancshares will report its fourth-quarter earnings of 2020 before the bell today.

KeyCorp (NYSE:KEY -- $18.29) operates as the holding company for KeyBank National Association. KeyCorp will report its fourth-quarter earnings of 2020 before the bell today.

M&T Bank Corporation (NYSE:MTB -- $143.73) operates as the holding company for Manufacturers and Traders Trust Company. M&T Bank will report its fourth-quarter earnings of 2020 before the bell today.

Northern Trust Corporation (NASDAQ:NTRS -- $94.80) provides wealth management, asset servicing, asset management, and banking solutions. Northern Trust will report its fourth-quarter earnings of 2020 before the bell today.

Signature Bank (NASDAQ:SBNY -- $153.72) provides various business and personal banking products and services. Signature Bank will report its fourth-quarter earnings of 2020 before the bell today.

TAL Education Group (NYSE:TAL -- $67.74) provides K-12 after-school tutoring services in the People's Republic of China. TAL Education will report its fourth-quarter earnings of 2020 before the bell today.

The Travelers Companies, Inc. (NYSE:TRV -- $145.02) provides a range of commercial and personal property, and casualty insurance products and services. Travelers will report its fourth-quarter earnings of 2020 before the bell today.

Truist Financial Corporation (NYSE:TFC -- $51.63) provides banking and trust services. Truist will report its fourth-quarter earnings of 2020 before the bell today.

Union Pacific Corporation (NYSE:UNP -- $218.18) engages in the railroad business. Union Pacific will report its fourth-quarter earnings of 2020 before the bell today.

Webster Financial Corporation (NYSE:WBS -- $51.82) operates as the holding company for Webster Bank, National Association. Webster Financial will report its fourth-quarter earnings of 2020 before the bell today.

WNS Holdings, Ltd. (NYSE:WNS -- $71.78) provides data, voice, analytical, and business transformation services. WNS will report its fourth-quarter earnings of 2020 before the bell today.

Westamerica Bancorporation (NASDAQ:WABC -- $59.75) operates as a bank holding company for Westamerica Bank. Westamerica Banc will report its fourth-quarter earnings of 2020 during trading hours today.

Assoc Banc-Corp (NYSE:ASB -- $19.90) provides various banking and nonbanking products. Assoc Banc-Corp will report its fourth-quarter earnings of 2020 after the market closes today.

Bank OZK (NYSE:OZK -- $34.62) provides various retail and commercial banking services. Bank OZK will report its fourth-quarter earnings of 2020 after the market closes today.

CSX Corporation (NASDAQ:CSX -- $93.21) provides rail-based freight transportation services. CSX will report its fourth-quarter earnings of 2020 after the market closes today.

International Business Machines Corporation (NYSE:IBM -- $130.08) provides integrated solutions and services. IBM will report its fourth-quarter earnings of 2020 after the market closes today.

Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (NASDAQ:ISRG -- $798.57) designs, manufactures, and markets da Vinci surgical systems, and related instruments and accessories. Intuitive Surgical will report its fourth-quarter earnings of 2020 after the market closes today.

National Bank Holdings Corporation (NYSE:NBHC -- $35.99) operates as the bank holding company for NBH Bank. National Bank will report its fourth-quarter earnings of 2020 after the market closes today.

People's United Financial, Inc. (NASDAQ:PBCT -- $14.45) operates as the bank holding company for People's United Bank, National Association. People's United Financial will report its fourth-quarter earnings of 2020 after the market closes today.

PPG Industries, Inc. (NYSE:PPG -- $144.55) manufactures and distributes paints, coatings, and specialty materials. PPG Industries will report its fourth-quarter earnings of 2020 after the market closes today.

Seagate Tech plc (NASDAQ:STX -- $61.42) provides data storage technology and solutions. Seagate Tech will report its fourth-quarter earnings of 2020 after the market closes today.

SVB Financial Group (NASDAQ:SIVB -- $462.71) provides various banking and financial products and services. SVB Financial Group will report its fourth-quarter earnings of 2020 after the market closes today.

Texas Capital Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:TCBI -- $68.98) operates as the bank holding company for Texas Capital Bank, National Association. Texas Capital will report its fourth-quarter earnings of 2020 after the market closes today.

Western Alliance Bancorporation (NYSE:WAL -- $71.31) operates as the holding company for Western Alliance Bank. Western Alliance Bancorp will report its fourth-quarter earnings of 2020 after the market closes today.

Here is a quick recap of how Wednesday's earnings reports played out:

The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation (NYSE:BK -- $45.82) provides a range of financial products and services. Earnings per share fell 4.95% year over year to $0.96, which beat the estimate of $0.91. Revenue of $3,904,000,000 declined by 2.11% year over year, which beat the estimate of $3,830,000,000.

BOK Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:BOKF -- $80.43) operates as the financial holding company for BOKF, NA. Earnings per share rose 37.27% over the past year to $2.21, which beat the estimate of $1.92. Revenue of $494,008,000 up by 10.06% from the same period last year, which beat the estimate of $483,140,000.

Citizens Financial Group, Inc. (NYSE:CFG -- $40.83) provides a range of financial products and services. Earnings per share were unchanged 0.00% over the past year to $0.99, which beat the estimate of $0.91. Revenue of $1,707,000,000 rose by 4.28% year over year, which beat the estimate of $1,700,000,000.

Commerce Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:CBSH -- $71.12) operates as the bank holding company for Commerce Bank. Earnings per share were up 19.35% over the past year to $1.11, which beat the estimate of $0.94. Revenue of $344,880,000 decreased by 0.36% year over year, which missed the estimate of $345,900,000.

Fastenal Company (NASDAQ:FAST -- $50.42) engages in the wholesale distribution of industrial and construction supplies. Earnings per share increased 9.68% over the past year to $0.34, which beat the estimate of $0.33. Revenue of $1,358,000,000 rose by 6.34% from the same period last year, which beat the estimate of $1,340,000,000.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS -- $74.99) provides various financial products and services. Earnings per share were up 60.00% year over year to $1.92, which beat the estimate of $1.27. Revenue of $13,640,000,000 rose by 25.63% year over year, which beat the estimate of $11,540,000,000.

The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG -- $133.60) provides branded consumer packaged goods to consumers. Earnings per share increased 15.49% over the past year to $1.64, which beat the estimate of $1.51. Revenue of $19,745,000,000 rose by 8.25% from the same period last year, which beat the estimate of $19,270,000,000.

U.S. Bancorp (NYSE:USB -- $48.07) provides various financial services. Earnings per share fell 12.04% over the past year to $0.95, which were in line with the estimate of $0.95. Revenue of $5,725,000,000 rose by 1.45% from the same period last year, which missed the estimate of $5,820,000,000.

UnitedHealth Group, Inc. (NYSE:UNH -- $352.19) operates as a diversified health care company. Earnings per share were down 35.38% over the past year to $2.52, which beat the estimate of $2.41. Revenue of $65,467,000,000 rose by 7.50% year over year, which beat the estimate of $65,060,000,000.

Alcoa Corporation (NYSE:AA -- $23.09) produces and sells bauxite, alumina, and aluminum products. Earnings per share rose 183.87% year over year to $0.26, which beat the estimate of $0.11. Revenue of $2,392,000,000 declined by 1.81% year over year, which beat the estimate of $2,350,000,000.

Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS -- $99.07) operates as a direct banking and payment services company. Earnings per share rose 15.11% year over year to $2.59, which beat the estimate of $2.42. Revenue of $2,824,000,000 declined by 4.08% year over year, which beat the estimate of $2,820,000,000.

Hancock Whitney Corporation (NASDAQ:HWC -- $40.06) operates as the bank holding company for Hancock Whitney Bank. Earnings per share were up 10.38% over the past year to $1.17, which beat the estimate of $0.90. Revenue of $320,636,000 up by 0.31% from the same period last year, which beat the estimate of $319,540,000.

Kinder Morgan, Inc. (NYSE:KMI -- $15.55) operates as an energy infrastructure company. Earnings per share rose 3.85% over the past year to $0.27, which beat the estimate of $0.24. Revenue of $3,115,000,000 declined by 7.07% year over year, which beat the estimate of $3,050,000,000.

Sterling Bancorp (NYSE:STL -- $20.85) operates as the bank holding company for Sterling National Bank. Earnings per share fell 9.26% year over year to $0.49, which beat the estimate of $0.46. Revenue of $222,026,000 declined by 2.73% from the same period last year, which beat the estimate of $219,560,000.

Umpqua Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ:UMPQ -- $16.69) operates as the holding company of Umpqua Bank. Earnings per share were up 78.95% over the past year to $0.68, which beat the estimate of $0.48. Revenue of $358,867,000 higher by 15.55% from the same period last year, which beat the estimate of $330,500,000.

Looking ahead to tomorrow, Friday will feature the Markit manufacturing Purchasing Manager's Index (PMI), as well as Markit services PMI and existing home sales.

All economic dates listed here are tentative and subject to change.

Published on Jan 20, 2021 at 4:39 PM
  • Market Recap

Stocks roared to brand-new highs midweek, with the Dow, Nasdaq Composite, and S&P 500 all notching their highest closes on record. The Dow ended the day with a 257-point pop, and all three major indexes also nabbed fresh intraday peaks. Attention was turned to Joe Biden's inauguration as the 46th president of the United States, which stoked investor optimism over additional emergency stimulus, and a speedy Covid-19 vaccine rollout.

Well-received earnings from several major names, including Netflix (NFLX) and Morgan Stanley (MS), also helped boost investor sentiment. Meanwhile, Wall Street's "fear gauge" -- the CBOE Volatility Index -- registered its biggest drop in nearly two weeks. 

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

  • The rallying fitness stock flexing red-hot options activity. 
  • Bulls flocked to BABA when its founder reappeared after three months.
  • Plus, a post-earnings look at NFLX; the analysts giving EAT an upgrade; and a technical breakdown of New Residential Investment stock. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 31,188.38) added 257.9 points, or 0.8% for the day. Microsoft (MSFT) led the gainers with a 3.7% pop, while JPMorgan Chase (JPM) fell to the bottom of the barrel with a 1.5% dip. 

Meanwhile, the S&P 500 Index (SPX - 3,851.85) settled 52.9 points, or 1.4% higher, and the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 13,457.25) rose 260.1 points, or nearly 2% for the day.

Lastly, the Cboe Volatility Index (VIX - 21.58) lost 1.7 point, or 7.1% for the day. 

Closing Indexes Summary Jan 20

NYSE and Nasdaq Stats Jan 20

  1. Three Democratic senators -- Raphael Warnock, Jon Ossoff, and Alex Padilla -- will be sworn into office today, giving democrats control of the Senate. (CNBC)
  2. A fatal gas explosion in a Madrid residential building left three dead and at least eight injured. The blast destroyed the face of the structure, while rubble covered a schoolyard. (MarketWatch) 
  3. Unpacking Netflix stock's big revenue beat and added subscribers. 
  4. Cheesecake Factory stock earned a fresh round of overdue bull notes.
  5. Taking a technical look at New Residential Investment stock. 

Earnings 0120

Unusual Options Activity Jan 20

Biden Inauguration, Stimulus Hopes Strengthen Gold, Oil

While Biden's inauguration is the reigning political story today, promises of additional stimulus are still top of mind, which in turn have led to a weakening of the U.S. dollar. This has been a positive thing for gold prices, which settled at a two-week high. February-dated gold added $26.30, or 1.4%, to finish at $1,866.50 per ounce.

Hopes that stimulus will strengthen demand for oil gave the commodity a boost today, too, with many traders optimistic that Biden's agenda will bring the end of the pandemic. February-dated crude rose 26 cents, or 0.5% for the day, to settle at $53.24 per barrel.


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