After starting off gangbusters in the morning, it was a stumble toward the finish line for the Dow today. The blue-chip index finished right around breakeven, slowly whittling away triple-digit gains generated from early U.S.-China trade optimism. The S&P and Nasdaq joined the Dow in a mixed finish, but all three benchmarks did hang on for their first weekly wins in August, and their best weekly gains since June. For the month, though, the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq all finished with sharp losses, as the VIX turned in its second straight month in the black.
Continue reading for more on today's market, including:
- Heed these 10 commandments of options trading...and fantasy football.
- 2 retail stocks that could bounce next month.
- Plus, two stocks soaring as insiders buy shares; patent problems for ALXN; and 25 stocks to short in September.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 26,403.28) recorded a 41-point, or 0.2% win, with Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) leading the 19 Dow advancers with a 1.6% gain. Cisco Systems (CSCO) had the worst day of the 11 blue-chip losers, finishing off 1%. For the week, the Dow gained 3%. In August, the blue-chip index shed 1.7%.
The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,926.46) rose 1.9 points, or 0.06%, while the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 7,962.88) closed down 10.5 points, or 0.1%. The S&P 500 finished the week up 2.8%, while the Nasdaq rose 2.7%. For the month, however, the SPX dropped 1.8% to the Nasdaq's 2.7% slide.
The Cboe Volatility Index (VIX - 18.98) added 1.1 points, or 6.2%. It logged a weekly loss of 4.5%, and a monthly gain of 17.7%.
5 Items on our Radar Today
- All eyes will be on the Florida coast this weekend, after Hurricane Dorian was upgraded to a category 3 storm. Dorian is expected to make landfall on Tuesday morning, sparking gasoline shortages as residents rush to load up on storm supplies. (CNBC)
- The University of Michigan consumer sentiment survey cratered to 89.8 at the end of August, marking the lowest reading since October 2016. The dismal reading was largely attributed to ongoing uncertainty over tariffs and the trade war. (MarketWatch)
- 2 stocks popping on insider buying news.
- Patent questions put Alexion Pharmaceuticals stock under pressure.
- 25 stocks set to slide in September.
Data courtesy of Trade-Alert
Gold Logs Fourth Straight Monthly Win
Oil prices pulled back today, after reports that Russia’s oil output cuts in August will be slightly smaller than the agreed amount between Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC members. October-dated crude futures finished down $1.61, or 2.8%, at $55.10 per barrel. For the week, black gold gained 1.7%, but lost 5.9% on the month.
Gold finished lower today after a big monthly advance on safe-haven buying. Gold futures for December delivery closed down $7.50, or 0.5%, at $1,529.40 an ounce. For the week, gold shed 0.5%, but managed to log a 6.3% gain in August for its fourth consecutive monthly gain.
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