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Stocks Struggle for Direction Despite Strong Economic Data

The Dow finished modestly in the black after hovering around breakeven for most of the trading day, despite upbeat earnings reports and jobs data. Initial jobless claims for last week came in at 360,000, marking a new pandemic-era low and falling in line with expectations. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 Index and Nasdaq ended the session lower as tech stocks slipped.

Elsewhere, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell reiterated the expectation that the spike in inflation will be transitory in his second day of Congressional testimony, and has received harsh criticism from Senators Sherrod Brown and Elizabeth Warren. In other news, investors unpacked strong U.S. manufacturing data today, though supply chain headwinds still linger. 

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

  • Unpacking the bullish sentiment around SCHW before earnings. 
  • What kept a lid on Morgan Stanley stock after a top- and bottom-line beat. 
  • Plus, AIG makes billion-dollar deal; BYND's new expansion; and NFLX receives a bull note. 

The Dow Jones Average (DJI - 34,987.02) added 53.8 points, or 0.2%. Of the 30 Dow components, Honeywell International (HON) saw the biggest jump, adding 2.2%, while Salesforce.Com (CRM) landed at the bottom of the list, shedding 2%.

Meanwhile, the S&P 500 Index (SPX - 4,360.03) shed 14.3 points, or 0.3%, and the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 14,543.13) lost 101.8 points, or 0.7%.

Lastly, the Cboe Volatility Index (VIX - 17.01) added 0.7 point, or 4.2%.

closinng indexes july 15

NYSE and Nasdaq Stats July 15
  1. The four-person group joining Jeff Bezos on Blue Origin's first launch will include the youngest person ever to fly to space. (MarketWatch)
  2. Nike (NKE) is seeking over $856,000 in restitution from Michael Avenatti for his botched extortion scheme -- a significantly lower amount than what was previously requested. (CNBC)
  3. AIG rises after making a deal with Blackstone. 
  4. BYND announces e-commerce expansion in China. 
  5. One analyst thinks Netflix's subscriber growth could soar. 

Earnings July 15

Unusual Options Activity July 15

Gold Nears Monthly Highs for Second Day

Oil prices fell for the second-straight day on demand concerns, amid the Covid-19 delta variant spread as well as reports of progress regarding a production level agreement between Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. August-dated crude dropped $1.48, or 2%, to settle at $71.65 a barrel -- its lowest settlement since June 18. 

Gold futures rebounded from their early losses to settle higher for the third-straight day. August-dated gold rose $4, or 0.2%, to settle at $1,829 an ounce, which is once again the highest settlement for the most-active contract since June 16.  

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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