Dow Trims Losses on Talk of Tariff Exemptions

The Dow was down more than 300 points at its intraday low, as the resignation of Gary Cohn -- President Donald Trump's top economic advisor opposed to proposed steel and aluminum tariffs -- fueled concerns about a global trade war. In addition, stock traders digested a stronger-than-expected ADP jobs report for February -- a precursor to Friday's government payrolls report -- and a surging trade deficit . However, stocks came off their session lows, and the tech-rich Nasdaq extended its winning streak to four days, after the White House said Trump could exempt Canada and Mexico, as well as other countries, from tariffs. Nevertheless, while the Dow pared its losses, an ugly day for Exxon Mobil ( XOM ) stock kept the index in the red through the close.

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

  • Watch these 3 aluminum stocks amid the tariff talks.
  • Options traders are ready for a volatility crush for this retail stock .
  • Bears are circling Kroger stock ahead of earnings.
  • Plus, Oprah's big stock move; a surging Weight Watchers rival; and a tech stock that could get hot.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 24,801.36) finished down 82.8 points, or 0.3%, to stay just north of breakeven for 2018. Today saw 11 Dow components close in positive territory, led by IBM with a 1.7% gain. Exxon Mobil stock was the worst decliner, dropping 2.5%.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX -2,726.80) slipped 1.3 points, or 0.1%. The Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 7,396.65) gained 24.6 points, or 0.3%.

The Cboe Volatility Index (VIX - 17.76) finished 0.6 point, or 3.3%, lower.

5 Items on Our Radar Today

  1. Bitcoin tanked today, dipping below $10,000 after the Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) issued a statement that cryptocurrency platforms must be registered as an exchange. Bitcoin has now lost almost 50% since its December high, and faces increased scrutiny amid tightening regulation. ( Bloomberg )
  2. ( AMZN ) announced earlier today it is offering its monthly Prime membership at a 54% discount to customers on Medicaid. The move represents an effort to combat Walmart ( WMT ) in the fight for low-income shoppers. ( CNBC )
  3. The Oprah news that moved Weight Watchers ( WTW ) stock.
  4. And the Weight Watchers rival up over 30% today.
  5. This tech stock could be ripe for a short squeeze.

Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Oil, Gold Slip Amid Rising Trade War Tensions

April-dated crude futures slipped $1.45, or 2.3%, to end at $61.15 per barrel, snapping a three-day winning streak. The drop was attributed to increasing tensions surrounding a possible trade war, as well as a weekly rise in domestic oil inventories and output. More specifically, the Energy Information Administration ( EIA ) noted U.S. crude production hit a record high of 10.4 million barrels last week.

Gold futures for April delivery fell $7.60, or 0.6%, to close at $1,327.60 an ounce, despite a weaker dollar. Traders eyed a stronger-than-expected ADP employment report, and gold continued lower after-hours following the Fed's Beige Book, which concluded that economic growth remained at a "modest to moderate" pace in January and February.

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

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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