Dramatic Afternoon Trading Highlights Tumultuous Week on Wall Street

To say it was a volatile week on Wall Street would be an understatement. After suffering a more than 1,000-point drop on Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) staged an incredible rebound to close the day in the black, while the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) made impressive comebacks as well. As the week went on, all three benchmarks continued to make drastic moves within the last hour of every trading session. However, from Tuesday through Thursday, the market mostly closed lower, with the exception of the Nasdaq's minor win on Tuesday. At this point on Friday, the major indexes are all eyeing daily gains, though they are still on track for weekly losses.

The Federal Open Market Committee's (FOMC) two-day meeting was at the forefront of investors' minds this week, after which Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell made comments suggesting interest rate hikes could be expected as soon as March. Meanwhile, gross domestic product (GDP) grew at a higher-than-expected seasonally adjusted rate of 6.9%, while weekly jobless claims fell to 260,000.

Flood of Blue-Chip Earnings

There were plenty of earnings for investors to sift through this week, with reports from many notable Dow members thrown into the mix. Put traders targeted falling IBM (IBM) ahead of its fourth-quarter report, and shares of 3M (MMM) slipped ahead of earnings as well, before the company easily bested analyst estimates. After 10-straight daily losses, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) struggled for direction on a worse-than-expected revenue report.

Meanwhile, Microsoft (MSFT) reported upbeat earnings on Wednesday, following its recent acquisition news, and options bears blasted Boeing (BA) after its disappointing earnings report. Later in the week, McDonald's (MCD) and Intel (INTC) both experienced post-earnings slumps, with the latter seeing a slew of price-target adjustments from analysts. Finally, Apple (AAPL) reported record-setting earnings and revenue on Friday. 

News-Worthy Updates

Though analysts were plenty busy with those big-name earnings reports, there was still a slew of updates from the brokerage bunch early in the week. Snap (SNAP) stock fell lower after a downgrade from Wedbush, while Fox (FOXA) and Discover Financial (DFS) rose after their respective upgrades.

Meanwhile, there were a few companies with big headlines. News came that Nvidia (NVDA) is preparing to pull out of a $40 billion takeover of British tech provider Arm, after the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sued the company to block the transaction. Elsewhere, Mattel (MAT) stock surged after word that the toymaker has won back the rights from Hasbro (HAS) to produce toys based on Walt Disney's (DIS) "Frozen" franchise and Disney princess lineup. And lastly, billionaire investor William Ackman decided to take advantage of Netflix (NFLX) stock's massive post-earnings pullback and purchase 3.1 million shares. 


Jobs Data on Tap Next Week

The start of February will kick off with plenty of earnings reports, as well as employment data. Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), Alibaba (BABA), Alphabet (GOOGL), Electronic Arts (EA), PayPal (PYPL), and Wynn Resorts (WYNN) are just some of the reports slated for release. In the meantime, check out the key trendline that the S&P 500 has broken below for the first time in over a year, according to Schaeffer's Senior Quantitative Analyst Rocky White. 


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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