The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) finished lower today, after trading on both sides of breakeven throughout the session. The S&P 500 Index ( SPX ) also ended a choppy session in the red, bringing its losing streak to four days -- the longest since March. The Nasdaq Composite ( IXIC ) , however, finished in the black, snapping its three-day losing streak after getting a lift from rebounding tech stocks . Tech giants Microsoft ( MSFT ), Facebook ( FB ), and Alphabet ( GOOGL ) all rose by more than 1% today. Elsewhere, markets continue to monitor events in Washington, D.C., where President Trump noted a government shutdown "could happen" as soon as Saturday, and Congress continues to hash out a plan for tax reform.
Continue reading for more on today's market, including:
- The rare Dow signal flashing.
- The biotech stock that doubled today.
- Behind the recent options volume explosion.
- Plus, a Dollar General earnings preview; a semiconductor ETF in options traders' crosshairs; and two more Amazon victims.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA - 24,140.91) finished 39.7 points, or 0.2%, lower. Microsoft ( MSFT ) led 12 Dow stocks higher with its 1.5% win, while Merck (MRK) paced the 18 decliners with its 2.5% loss.
The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,629.27) finished 0.3 point lower, extending its losing streak to four, its longest since March. The Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 6,776.38) added 14.2 points, or 0.2%.
The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 11.02) lost 0.3 point, or 2.7%.
5 Items on Our Radar Today
- President Trump announced today that the United States will formally recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital . The president also added that a new American embassy in Jerusalem is to be built, starting immediately. Trump maintained that the decision "is not intended in any way" to disrupt the peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. ( CNBC )
- Unit labor costs in the U.S. came in weaker than initially estimated in the third quarter, dropping at an annualized rate of 0.2%, compared to the 0.5% rise reported in November. Following a 1.2% drop in the second quarter, it's the first time unit labor costs have fallen for two straight quarters since 2014. ( Reuters )
- Dollar General steps into the earnings confessional tomorrow.
- Options bears have been flocking to this semiconductor ETF .
- 2 healthcare stocks in Amazon's crosshairs.
Data courtesy of Trade-Alert
Crude slated for January delivery dropped $1.66, or 2.9%, to close at $55.96 per barrel, after an unexpected rise in gasoline inventories overshadowed a drop in domestic crude supplies. It was oil's biggest one-day drop in more than two months.
February-dated gold futures added $1.20, or roughly 0.1%, to settle at $1,266.10 an ounce, after falling to a two-month low earlier in the day. Worries over a potential government shutdown and unrest in the Middle East sparked demand for the safe-haven asset, overshadowing a stronger dollar.