Dow Snaps Winning Streak, Stocks Lower Amid Tax Bill Worries

By Patrick Martin / December 14, 2017 / / Article Link

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) finished lower and snapped a five-day winning streak, despite touching a fresh record high earlier in the day. The S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) followed the Dow lower in afternoon trading, hurt by struggling healthcare stocks andreports the Republican tax bill has encountered last-minute resistance. Specifically, two senators will reportedly vote against the bill unless it includes a larger expansion of a child tax credit.

Against this backdrop, the Dow lost steam in spite of Walt Disney's (DIS) purchase of Twenty-First Century Fox (FOXA) assets, as well as stronger-than-expected November retail sales and the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) expected repeal of net neutrality regulations.

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

The raresilver signal you can't miss.The e-commerce company going all in on bitcoin.The newest member of the cryptocurrency family that touched a 17-year high today.Plus, the power stock sending up "buy" signals; Verizon options pop; and 2 media stocks for 2018.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA - 24,508.66) finished 76.8 points, or 0.3%, lower, despite notching a record high of 24,672.48. DISled six Dow stocks higher with its 2.8% win, Caterpillar (CAT) paced the 24 decliners with its 1.5% loss.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,652.01) finished 10.8 points, or 0.4%, lower. The Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 6,856.52) lost 19.3 points, or 0.3%.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 10.49) added 0.3 point, or 3.1%.

Closing Indexes Summary Dec 14

NYSE and Nasdaq Dec 14

5 Items on Our Radar Today

In an effort to stop its retail free-fall, Sears Holdings (SHLD) will be selling its DieHard brand on (AMZN). The brand includes jump starters and battery chargers, and will include tires and batteries later in the year. Last July, Sears began selling its Kenmore appliances on Amazon. (Fortune)House Speaker Paul Ryan is reportedly considering retiring after the 2018 midterm elections, according to Politico. The report detailed that until then, Ryan will focus on tackling tax and social safety net reform. A spokesperson from Ryan's office has called the reports "pure speculation." (CNBC)The power stock screaming 'buy.'Options traders took aim at Verizon stock amid the net neutrality vote.2 media stocks to keep an eye on in 2018.

Corporate Earnings Chart Dec 14

Unusual Options Activity Dec 14
Data courtesy of Trade-Alert


Crude slated for January delivery climbed 44 cents, or 0.8%, to close at $57.04 per barrel. Black gold was boosted by the pipeline outage in Britain and reports of a refinery fire in Texas, but gains were limited after the International Energy Agency (IEA) increased its forecast for oil output growth next year.

February-dated gold futures gained $8.50, or0.7%, to settle at $1,257.10 an ounce. The safe-haven asset was boosted by the apparent assurances that 2018 will bring three interest rate hikes as anticipated.

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