Stocks Struggle, But End April on a High Note

There were plenty of earnings for investors to wade through, too

Lillian Currens
May 1, 2020 at 3:54 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI), the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) all struggled to maintain their momentum this week, though the Dow and S&P both notched their best months since 1987. While the week started off strong as the first murmurs of plans to reopen the economy injected Wall Street with some much-needed optimism, discouraging comments from Dr. Anthony Fauci checked some of this sentiment. Investors' hopes concerning a possible, and currently very unclear, end to the coronavirus pandemic weren't completely dashed, however. Gilead Sciences on Wednesday announced upbeat trial data for its potential coronavirus treatment, remdesivir.

The Fed was also in focus, with investors encouraged by Fed Chair Jerome Powell's decision to hold interest rates near zero, following the Federal Open Market Committee's (FOMC) April meeting. However, by now investors have learned to take the good news with the bad, as Wall Street endured yet another week of miserable jobs data. As of this writing all three major indexes are continuing to pull back on April's rally amid a round of fresh tariff threats from U.S. President Donald Trump aimed at China. 

Wall Street Wades Through Blue-Chip, FAANG Earnings 

With earnings season once again at full hilt, many companies' results are beginning to directly reflect the devastating effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the economy. Several blue-chip and FAANG names entered the earnings confessional this week, some more successful than others. Amazon (AMZN), Chevron (CVX) and, McDonald's (MCD) were not so lucky. Meanwhile, Microsoft (MSFT), Facebook (FB), Alphabet (GOOGL), and 3M (MMM) all glided higher after their quarterly reports. 

Chip Stocks Caught Up in Options Traders' Feeding Frenzy

Earlier in the week, we highlighted Nvidia (NVDA) and Intel (INTC) as two semiconductor names that showed up on Schaeffer's Senior Quantitative Analyst Rocky White's list of stocks that have attracted the highest weekly options volume. NVDA and INTC weren't the only chip stocks that options traders were flocking to, though. Sector peer Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) also saw wild options volume later in the week ahead of its quarterly earnings report. 

Fed Meeting, Earnings in Focus Next Week 

This week, we explained how the 2020 COVID-19 crash is diverging from the 2008 financial crisis. We also did a deep-dive into how stocks have fared during past election years. 

There's plenty to dig into next week, too, with the ADP employment report, weekly jobless claims, and Markit services Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) taking center stage amid the pandemic. Plus, there are even more big names on the earnings docket, including blue-chip Walt Disney (DIS), Spirit Airlines (SAVE),  Jetblue Airways (JBLU), and Uber (UBER).


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