Stocks Shrug Off Comey, U.K. Election to Hit Fresh Highs

Apple's Bad Day; Plus, 23-Year Low for VIX

Jun 9, 2017 at 3:32 PM
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It was a quiet start to the week for the stock market, with investors taking a wait-and-see approach ahead of a number of market-moving events. Growing tensions in the Middle East put pressure on oil prices, while back at home traders kept a close eye on Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). The energy sector would stay in focus, too, after a surprising update on domestic crude supplies -- good news for United States Oil Fund (USO) options traders. But by Thursday, attention quickly shifted to the European Central Bank's (ECB) policy decision, as well as the congressional testimony of former FBI Director James Comey

Stocks Hit Record Highs Despite U.K. Election Uncertainty

Despite all this, stocks were hovering near record highs going into Friday, as markets awaited the results from the parliamentary election in the U.K. -- which had this European ETF in focus. In a surprising twist, the U.K. election resulted in a hung parliament, but even this failed to deter investors. In fact, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), Nasdaq Composite (COMP), and S&P 500 Index (SPX) all hit record highs on Friday thanks to a financial sector rally, while the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) dropped to a 23-year low. 

Nvidia Stock Explodes; Apple Stock Sells Off

As for individual equities, Nvidia stock stole the show once again, after Citigroup said NVDA shares could double. Not to be left behind, fellow semiconductor stocks Micron and AMD also got a boost, prompting bullish activity from options traders -- though Ambarella stock dropped after earnings. Alibaba stock also had a big week, thanks to a staggering revenue forecast, while shares of Tesla and Netflix hit record highs of their own. However, the Nasdaq -- along with the Dow and SPX -- took a sharp turn lower at the end of the week, dashing its hopes for a weekly win, highlighted by a huge drop for Apple stock

Drug Stocks Hot After ASCO Event

Drug stocks were also making headlines throughout the week following an American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) event, and two big winners were bluebird bio and Loxo Oncology. Elsewhere in the sector, upbeat data on a Parkinson's drug had this biotech jumping on the charts, while NewLink Genetics dropped one-third of its value in one session. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had a big impact, too, sending Calithera stock flying and crushing Endo International. Valeant made headlines as well, amid reports it could put its eye-surgery business up for sale. 

Macy's Stock Sell-Off Puts Pressure on Retailers

Meanwhile, the retail sector remained under pressure, mostly due to big losses from Macy's stock, though talks of Nordstrom going private helped alleviate some of the pain. As expected, retailer Tailored Brands made a huge move after earnings, while analysts are remaining upbeat on this sector peer despite its struggles on the charts. If history is any indicator, retail stocks could struggle next week, too. Meanwhile, bearish analyst attention put a dent in beverage stocks

Stocks to Buy During Fed Week

While it's been an unusually positive start to the year for the SPX, there seems to be plenty of buying opportunities to be found. For starters, we identified 25 stocks to buy during Fed weeks, while these two penny stocks could also be attractive targets. But if you want to be a little more cautious ahead of the upcoming Federal Reserve meeting, this gold stock could break out. 

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