U.S. stocks finished the day mixed, though all three major indexes explored territory on both sides of breakeven. The Dow underperformed its peers, after Exxon Mobil ( XOM ) sold off after earnings, while the Nasdaq erased a big lead to close near the flatline. What's more, the Dow, S&P, and Nasdaq all closed lower on the week. Big earnings are expected next week, with Apple ( AAPL ) and Transocean ( RIG ) among the many names set to report.
Continue reading for more on today's market, including:
- This blue chip could be flashing a "buy" signal ahead of earnings.
- The news that sparked heavy selling in steel stocks .
- This Dow stock bucked the bearish bias to gap higher after earnings.
- Plus, one analyst says FB is cheap; Sprint gets pounded by call traders; and the tech stock bracing for a big post-earnings move.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 24,311.19) shed 11.2 points, or 0.05%, for the day. Verizon ( VZ ) was the biggest of the 14 blue-chip winners, surging 3.6%, General Electric ( GE ) ended the day flat, and Exxon Mobil was the biggest loser, falling 3.8%. The Dow gave back 0.6% on the week.
The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,669.91) gained 3 points, or 0.1%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 7,119.80) picked up 1.1 points, or 0.02%. The indexes lost 0.01% and 0.4% for the week, respectively.
The Cboe Volatility Index (VIX - 15.41) lost 0.8 point, or 5.1%, on the day. The market's "fear gauge" took an 8.7% loss for the week.
5 Items on Our Radar Today
- For the first time since 2014, e-commerce giant Amazon (AMZN) announced that it is raising the annual membership fee for its Prime service by 20% to $119 from $99, effective May 11. Amazon said the increase will offset fees and other shipping costs that have surfaced in recent years, and could create an additional $2 billion for the company. ( MarketWatch )
- A flood of protests have shaken South Africa this week, after President Cyril Ramaphosa proposed a national minimum wage . The policy to set the wage at roughly $1.62 per hour was slated for a parliamentary vote next Tuesday, May 1, but has been delayed. ( CNBC )
- Analyst: Facebook stock is "too cheap to ignore."
- Sprint stock got pounded by call traders amid merger rumors .
- This tech stock tends to make big post-earnings moves .
Data courtesy of Trade-Alert
Gold Resumes Climb Higher, Oil Suffers
Oil prices traded mostly flat throughout the day, but closed slightly lower after the U.S. rig count edged up last week. June-dated crude finished the session down 9 cents, or 0.1%, at $68.10 per barrel, and closed the week 0.4% lower.
Gold broke its two-day losing streak, as the 10-year Treasury yield retreated from its recent highs north of 3%. June-dated futures finished up $5.50, or 0.4%, to settle at $1,323.40 per ounce on the day, but closed 1.1% lower on the week.