The Dow spent the entire session trading in positive territory, thanks to a strong earnings reaction for Goldman Sachs ( GS ). The broader S&P 500 Index also gained ground amid a broader rally in bank stocks , while the Nasdaq climbed on Apple ( AAPL ) tailwinds, as buzz swirled around a potential Apple Watch Medicare program . But as the major U.S. benchmarks settled at levels not seen since mid-December, the Cboe Volatility Index also rose, narrowly avoiding a second consecutive close below its 100-day moving average .
Continue reading for more on today's market, including:
- The profit warning that sparked a surge in Nordstrom options volume.
- The construction stock at the top of the Nasdaq today.
- Can Netflix manage another monster earnings move ?
- Plus, Apache options bull shrugs off a bear note; an energy stock expected to double; and the latest C-suite shakeup at Snap.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 24,207.16) added 141.6 points, or 0.6%. Fourteen Dow stocks closed higher, led by a 9.5% surge for Goldman Sachs -- its best day since March 2009. Verizon ( VZ ) paced the 15 decliners with its 1.8% drop, while Visa ( V ) finished flat.
The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,616.10) gained 5.8 points, or 0.2%, while the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 7,034.69) rose 10.9 points, or 0.2%.
The Cboe Volatility Index (VIX - 19.04) slipped as low as 17.76, before swinging to a 0.4-point, or 2.4%, gain.
5 Items on our Radar Today
- Following yesterday's historic Brexit defeat, Prime Minister Theresa May's government survived a no-confidence vote in the U.K. parliament, 325 to 306. This will allow May to move ahead on an alternate withdrawal plan ahead of the March 29 deadline for Britain to leave the European Union. ( Reuters )
- The Fed's Beige Book showed eight of the 12 Federal Reserve districts showed modest-to-moderate growth at the end of 2018 and start of 2019. The report also indicated "many" districts "had become less optimistic" amid the fourth-quarter stock market volatility and geopolitical uncertainty, among other risks. (MarketWatch)
- One Apache options bull brushed off a bearish analyst note.
- Barclays expects this rebounding energy stock to double .
- Another executive is leaving Snap .
Data courtesy of Trade-Alert
Palladium Closes at a Premium to Gold Prices
Oil prices closed higher for a second straight day, after the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported a bigger-than-anticipated drop in domestic inventories -- even as U.S. crude production and gasoline stockpiles rose. Crude futures for February delivery gained 20 cents, or 0.4%, to close at $52.31 per barrel.
Political uncertainty at home and abroad had risk-averse traders flocking to gold, with the February-dated contract adding $5.40, or 0.4%, to settle at $1,293.80 an ounce. Elsewhere in the metals sector, the March pallladium contract closed at $1,318.50 an ounce -- the first time it's settled at a premium to gold prices in 16 years.