Tech index makes it official

  • NDX hits all-time high amid flood of earnings
  • Oil breaks out of consolidation
  • This week: FOMC, GDP, jobs highlight blockbuster week

Well, we can check “new record high” off our list—at least for one stock index.

Amid a mixed bag of high-profile earnings last week, the Nasdaq 100 (NDX) jumped to a new all-time high of 8,032.52 and a new record close of 8,029.22 on Friday, reaffirming its year-long position as market leader:

Chart 1: Nasdaq 100 index (NDX), 7/31/19–10/25/19. Nasdaq 100 index (NDX) price chart New records.

Source: Power E*TRADE

Meanwhile, the S&P 500 (SPX) came within 0.59 of matching its July 26 record high of 3,027.98 before closing at 3,022.55, so some traders may just choose to call it day on that milestone, too.

Third-quarter earnings dominated the trading landscape, with beats from the likes of Microsoft (MSFT), Tesla (TSLA), Biogen (BIIB), and Lockheed Martin (LMT) balanced by misses from Amazon (AMZN), Twitter (TWTR), Caterpillar (CAT), and Boeing (BA).

But the week may have been even more notable for news that didn’t cross the wire: With the exception of a report on Friday that the US and China were making progress on finalizing “phase one” of a trade deal,1 the week was free of the whiplash-inducing trade-war headlines that have repeatedly derailed market rallies in recent months. Here’s how the major US indexes stacked up:

US stock index performance table for week ending 10/25/19. S&P 500 (SPX), Nasdaq 100 (NDX), Russell 2000 (RUT), Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA).

Source: Power E*TRADE

Sector roundup: The strongest S&P 500 sectors last week were energy (+4.3%), information technology (+2.5%), and industrials (+2.2%). The weakest sectors were real estate (-1.1%), consumer discretionary (-0.9%), and communications services (+0.1%).

Power moves: On the upside, on Monday PetMed Express (PETS) soared +34% to $26, while Biogen (BIIB) jumped +26% to $281.87 on Tuesday. On the downside, ServiceMaster Global (SERV) fell -20% to $44.70 on Tuesday, and Resideo Technologies (REZI) tumbled -37% to $9.50 on Wednesday.

Futures action: After breaking out to a three-week high last Wednesday, December WTI crude oil (CLZ9) ended the week up 5.1% at $56.59/barrel. December gold (GCZ9) broke out of its consolidation last Thursday (taking gold stocks with it), pushing above $1,520/ounce early Friday before closing around $1,507.

With the Brexit can looking like it will be kicked down the road a while longer, December British pound futures (6BZ9) pulled back from Monday’s five-month high of 1.3037 to close Friday around 1.2844, down 1.3% for the week..

Coming this week

To say this week’s economic calendar is packed is an understatement—a Fed interest-rate decision, GDP, manufacturing, and the jobs report are just the highlights:

Monday: Retail Inventories, Wholesale Inventories

Tuesday: S&P Corelogic Case-Shiller HPI, Consumer Confidence, Pending Home Sales Index

Wednesday: GDP, FOMC Meeting Announcement

Thursday: Personal Income and Outlays, Employment Cost Index, Chicago PMI

Friday: Employment Situation, PMI Manufacturing Index, ISM Manufacturing Index, Construction Spending

Those numbers will be surrounded by more marquee earnings releases, including Alphabet (GOOGL), Apple (AAPL), and Facebook (FB). Some others to watch:

Monday: Alphabet (GOOGL), Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA), AT&T (T), Beyond Meat (BYND), Xerox Holdings (XRX), ON Semiconductor (ON), Check Point Software (CHKP), XPO Logistics (XPO), Tapestry (TPR), NXP Semiconductors (NXPI), Spotify Technology (SPOT)

Tuesday: Amgen (AMGN), Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), ConocoPhillips (COP), Merck (MRK), Maxim Integrated Products (MXIM), Shopify (SHOP), General Motors (GM), GrubHub (GRUB), Seattle Genetics (SGEN), Pfizer (PFE), Mastercard (MA), Martin Marietta (MLM), Verisk Analytics (VRSK)

Wednesday: Apache (APA), Apple (AAPL), CME Group (CME), General Electric (GE), Starbucks (SBUX), Etsy (ETSY), Facebook (FB), LYFT (LYFT), Twilio (TWLO), KBR (KBR), Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX), Yum! Brands (YUM)

Thursday: Altria (MO), Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), Arista Networks (ANET), Spirit AeroSystems (SPR), Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY), Bio Rad Laboratories (BIO), Dunkin' Brands (DNKN), Clorox (CLX), Celgene (CELG), United States Steel (X), Kraft Heinz (KHC), Eagle Materials (EXP), Global Payments (GPN), Pinterest (PINS)

Friday: AbbVie (ABBV), Alibaba (BABA), Chevron (CVX), American International Group (AIG), Seagate Technology (STX), Exxon Mobil (XOM)

Go to the E*TRADE market calendar (logon required) for an up-to-date earnings schedule and a complete list of splits, dividends, IPOs, and economic reports. The Active Trader Commentary also lists earnings announcements, IPOs and economic report times each morning.

Market Mover Update. Friday was a notable day away from the index spotlight: Amazon (AMZN) fell almost 5% intraday after its earnings miss, but rallied to close the day down only 1.2%. Phillips 66 (PSX) is now up more than 16% since October 2 after jumping more than 3% in the wake of its earnings beat. Aimmune Therapeutics (AIMT) surged more than 6% on more than six times its average call options volume, while Netflix (NFLX) rallied 2%, keeping its recent upswing intact.


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1 US and China are close to finalizing some sections of trade deal, US trade representative says. 10/25/19.

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