The Dow kicked off the session with a triple-digit deficit, as hotter-than-expected inflation data stoked fears of an accelerated pace of Fed rate hikes. In addition, Wall Street digested a surprise 0.3% decline in January retail sales -- the biggest drop in almost a year. Nevertheless, the recent stock market roller-coaster ride continued, with the Dow swinging to a triple-digit gain by the close, with help from a rally in rate-sensitive bank stocks . A surge in tech stocks also helped the major market indexes reverse higher, with the Dow, S&P, and Nasdaq all notching a fourth straight win. In fact, the Dow and SPX are pacing for their best week since late 2016, while the tech-rich Nasdaq is eyeing its biggest weekly gain since July 2015.
Continue reading for more on today's market, including:
- Buy puts on this Apple supplier , if history is any indicator.
- The biotech stock barreling higher on groundbreaking drug data .
- Options traders are expecting a huge earnings move for this cybersecurity stock .
- Plus, 2 travel stocks to trade right now; Chipotle's changing of the guard; and the retailer that could edge higher next week.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 24,893.49) explored a range of nearly 436 points, but ultimately settled with a gain of 253 points, or 1%, to top its 10-day moving average for the first time since Jan. 29. Nike ( NKE ) led the 24 advancing Dow stocks, up 3.2%, while McDonald's ( MCD ) paced the five losers with a 1.5% drop. Merck ( MRK ) stock finished flat.
The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2, 698.63) added 35.7 points, or 1.3%, by the close. The Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 7,143.62) gained 130.1 points, or 1.9%, for its sixth triple-digit move in nine sessions. Both the SPX and IXIC topped their own 10-day trendlines for the first time since late January.
The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 19.26) fell for a fourth straight day, surrendering 5.7 points, or 22.9%. The "fear gauge" marked its first close south of 20 since Feb. 2, but found support atop its 20-day moving average.
5 Items on Our Radar Today
- Valentine's Day spending will near a record high this year, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). An estimated $19.6 billion will be spent on the romantic holiday in the U.S., with the average consumer shelling out $143.56 on dinner, jewelry, candy, and other gifts. ( Fox Business )
- While he can't discuss the details publicly, Rep. Adam Schiff -- a former federal prosecutor and the senior Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee -- stated that there is " ample evidence " of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign. Still, he conceded that it's "for Bob Mueller to decide" whether there is proof beyond a reasonable doubt. ( USA Today )
- Seasonality suggests it's a prime time to trade these 2 travel stocks .
- The C-suite news that sent Chipotle ( CMG ) shares soaring.
- Why Target ( TGT ) stock could muscle higher next week.
Data courtesy of Trade-Alert
Oil Prices Bounce After U.S. Inventories Report
Oil prices shook off early losses to end higher, thanks to a smaller-than-anticipated increase in domestic crude inventories last week. By the close, March-dated oil futures were up $1.41, or 2.4%, at $60.60 per barrel.
Gold futures also swung higher from an early deficit, capitalizing on their appeal as an inflationary hedge. Gold for April delivery gained $27.60, or 2.1%, to finish at $1,358 an ounce -- the malleable metal's highest close in almost three weeks.