Dow Jones Industrial Average Settles Down; Fed in Focus


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The  Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA)  traded in a 70-point range, before settling modestly lower, amid a raft of mixed rhetoric from Fed officials. Chicago Fed President Charles Evans spoke twice, and despite his openness to three additional rate hikes in 2017, said the central bank won't consider another one until its June meeting. Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker echoed Evans, saying he'd like to "pace" additional rate hikes out through year's end. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) finished just above the flatline, after notching a new record high earlier in the trading session.

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

  • The $1 million bet against oil .
  • Analyst: Don't sell Apple stock yet.
  • Micron options are surprisingly cheap ahead of earnings.
  • Plus, Nike earnings on deck; Netflix, Tesla bears abound; and 3 biotechs burning up.

The  Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA - 20,905.86)  gave back 8.8 points, or 0.04%, despite 17 of 30 components ending higher. The leading advancer was Caterpillar, which added 2.7%. Meanwhile, of the 12 Dow laggards, Home Depot and Visa fared the worst, shedding 1.2% apiece. Exxon Mobil was unchanged.

The  S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,373.47)  surrendered 4.8 points, or 0.2%. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 5,901.53)  bucked the trend by a razor-thin margin, adding 0.5 point -- and earlier topped out at a record 5,915.12.

The  CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 11.34) edged up close to 0.1 point, or 0.5%, but hasn't overtaken the 12 level in four straight sessions.

closing indexes summary march 20
nyse and nasdaq stats march 20

5 Items on Our Radar Today

  1. Sprouts Farmers Market Inc ( SFM ) is reportedly in takeover talks with privately held grocer Albertsons . While discussions are preliminary, SFM could fetch a purchase price exceeding $3 billion.  (Bloomberg)

  2. After just six months on the job, Uber President Jeff Jones has resigned. "The beliefs and approach to leadership that have guided my career are inconsistent with what I saw and experienced at Uber, and I can no longer continue as president of the ride sharing business," Jones explained in a statement.  (Los Angeles Times)

  3. Nike stock  is poised to run higher after earnings, from a contrarian perspective.
  4. Options traders remain skeptical toward outperforming Netflix and Tesla shares.
  5. Why these 3 drug stocks caught fire.

unusual options activity march 20
Data courtesy of  Trade-Alert

Commodities

Despite reports that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) could extend its reduced output agreement for six months, oil prices again declined amid concern of growing U.S. production. Specifically, April-dated crude futures surrendered 56 cents, or 1.2%, to close at $48.22 per barrel.

Gold advanced for a third straight session, benefiting from a weaker U.S. dollar and fears of potential protectionism under the Trump administration. Gold for April delivery added $3.80, or 0.3%, to settle at $1,234 per ounce.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.



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