US Stocks Finish Higher With Healthcare, Earnings in Focus – Schaeffers Research (press release)

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Fading fears about Syria and a huge lift from Merck (MRK) were a welcome push higher for the Dow. Fellow healthcare concern UnitedHealth (UNH) stock also got a lift ahead of the company’s earnings report tomorrow. Several more stocks could move this week as earnings season heats up, with FAANG member Netflix (NFLX) reporting tonight, and Dow component General Electric (GE) reporting later this week.

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI – 24,573.04) gained 212.9 points, or 0.9%, for the day. UnitedHealth was the biggest of the 25 gainers, surging 2.7%. GE was the biggest loser, falling 1.3%.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX – 2,677.84) picked up 21.5 points, or 0.8%, while the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC – 7,156.29) gained 49.6 points, or 0.7%.

The Cboe Volatility Index (VIX – 16.56) lost 0.9 point, or 4.9%, for the day.

5 Items on Our Radar Today

  1. U.S. retail sales rebounded 0.6% in March, after three straight months of declines. Auto sales surged 2% — the most in six months — according to the Commerce Department. (CNBC)
  2. An American woman won the Boston Marathon for the first time in over three decades this afternoon, with a time of just under 2:40:00. The win also marked a notable feat due to the intense winds and icy rain that pelted runners on the 26.2-mile course. (MarketWatch)
  3. The beauty stock boosted by an analyst upgrade.
  4. A pharma stock slaughtered on dismal trial data
  5. Why options traders circled sinking ZTE suppliers.

Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Oil Dips Alongside Middle East Worries

Decreased Syria tensions and increased domestic drilling activity sent oil futures lower to start the week. May-dated crude ended Monday down $1.17, or 1.7%, to finish at $66.22 per barrel.

Pressure on the dollar increased after President Donald Trump’s tweet regarding China and Russia’s “currency devaluation game,” sending gold higher for the day. June-date gold ended Monday up $2.80, or 0.2%, to settle at $1,350.70 per ounce.

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