The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) traded in positive territory for a few brief moments early in the session, but ultimately settled lower. Stocks pared some of their losses during the afternoon hours, but anxiety over the policies of new President Donald Trump and his administration continued to weigh on the market. Meanwhile, the U.S. dollar slid to its lowest level since early December, which helped propel gold to near 10-week highs.
Continue reading for more on today's market, including:
- 3 stocks that made big moves on M&A chatter .
- How short-term traders have been playing Apple Inc. ( AAPL ) and Twitter Inc ( TWTR ) .
- The $1 billion lawsuit that sank this semiconductor stock .
- Plus ... The level in focus for one chipmaker, what an IT firm's internal investigation revealed, and how traders are lining up on Alibaba ahead of earnings.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA- 19,799.85) shed 27.4 points, or 0.1%, with General Electric Company ( GE ) leading the 17 laggards for a second straight session, with a 2.6% loss. DIY retailer Home Depot Inc ( HD ) was the top gainer, adding 1.8%.
The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,265.20) fell 6.1 points, or 0.3%. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 5,5552.94) ended just 2.4 points, or 0.04%, lower for the day.
The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 11.77) rose 0.2 point, or 2%.
5 Items on Our Radar Today
The proposed merger of health insurance giants Aetna Inc ( AET ) and Humana Inc (HUM) has been blocked by a U.S. judge . The deal, valued at $34 billion, would "substantially lessen competition" in many areas, specifically relating to Medicare Advantage plans, according to Judge John Bates on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. ( Reuters )
President Donald Trump has been busy during his first few days in office. In addition to officially signing the order to withdraw the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, the new president has also been taking steps to reverse many aspects of the climate and energy agenda set forth by former President Barack Obama, including moves to advance the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline. ( CNBC, MarketWatch )
- The levels this chipmaker's options traders have been targeting ahead of earnings.
- The IT stock spiraling on embezzlement revelations .
- Why pre-earnings call buyers have been eyeing Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd (BABA).
Data courtesy ofTrade-Alert
Data showing Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) members and other major producers reducing crude output was overshadowed by signs that U.S. drilling is in recovery mode. Though oil prices rose off their early lows through most of the session, crude oil for March delivery failed to erase its losses, finishing the day down 47 cents, or 0.9%, at $52.75 per barrel.
In contrast, gold prices spent the day in positive territory, as traders continued to seek the safe-haven asset as uncertainty persists at the beginning of Donald Trump's presidency. The malleable metal touched a two-month high as the U.S. dollar fell, with February-dated gold adding $10.70, or 0.9%, to end the day at $1,215.60 an ounce -- gold's highest in almost 10 weeks.
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