U.S. stocks closed mostly higher in today's trading, with the Dow gaining on post-earnings lifts from big-cap pharma firms Pfizer (PFE) and Merck (MRK). The S&P 500 also managed a win, settling at a new record close. On the flip side, tech stocks sank as Alphabet (GOOGL) led the Nasdaq lower on the Google parent's disappointing first-quarter revenue results. Meanwhile all three indexes grabbed a fourth straight monthly gain, with the SPX and IXIC seeing their best months since January.
Continue reading for more on today's market, including:
- 25 stocks to avoid in May.
- Calls pop on Qualcomm before earnings.
- One General Electric options trader braced for a big pullback.
- Plus, the flooring stock Jefferies is buying; analyst targets major upside for one Apple supplier; and Ford drives ahead with bull note.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 26,592.91) added 38.5 points, or 0.2%, in today's trading. Pfizer was the best of the 20 Dow gainers, adding 2.6%, while on the flip side, Apple (AAPL) outpaced the 10 losers with a 1.9% pullback. For the month, the index added an impressive 2.6%.
The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,945.83) scraped together a 2.8 point, or 0.1%, win. The Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 8,107.77) lost 54.1 points, or 0.7%. On a monthly basis, the indexes gained 4% and 4.9%, respectively.
The Cboe Volatility Index (VIX - 13.12) gained 0.01 point, or 0.08%. For April, the market's "fear gauge" shed 4.3%, its fourth monthly loss in a row.
5 Items on our Radar Today
- E-tail giant Amazon (AMZN) has been quietly running an online site to pair shipping companies with truck drivers, expediting freight service between warehouses. The service is only available in Maryland, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania, and remains in beta testing. (CNBC)
- In an effort to push user engagement, Facebook (FB) revamped its social media app, and also added access to a new dating feature to users in Brazil, Philippines, Vietnam, Singapore, and Malaysia. The tech giant also revealed impending updates to its Marketplace sector. (Reuters)
- Jefferies raised its rating to "buy" on this flooring stock.
- Analyst: This Apple supplier can surge 23%.
- Ford analyst delivers bull note after Amazon buzz.
Data courtesy of Trade-Alert
Gold Marks Third Straight Monthly Loss
Oil closed higher on rising political tensions in Venezuela and buzz the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) may extend crude output cuts through the end of the year. June-dated crude futures added 41 cents, or 0.7%, to close at $63.91 per barrel for the day. For April, crude tacked on a notable 6.3% -- its fourth straight monthly gain.
Although gold futures closed higher on the day thanks to a weakening greenback, the precious metal was not so lucky for the month. Specifically, June-dated gold added $4.20 or 0.3%, to settle at $1,285.70 per ounce in today's session, but gold prices fell 0.8% for April -- their third straight monthly loss.