The markets these days feel a bit like being in a “Karate Kid” movie where one day you wake up to getting your rear kicked by the Cobra Kai and the next morning you are performing the crane kick and winning the tournament. Today, unfortunately, volatility swung to the dark side as the Cobra Kai was back to its surprise attacking ways once again and the markets fell. The negative pressure and results came post stories that were flying around about how the US might cut off the flow of American technology to up to five Chinese companies. This caused concern and worries that the Chinese might retaliate and cause further escalation and/or at best the persistence of the dreaded trade wars that have been plaguing the markets.
The May FOMC minutes also revealed very little today as the main takeaway is that they are comfortable with the range of interest rates currently.
Oil prices fell significantly today down 2.6% closing at $61.40/bbl. Chevron (CVX) ticked lower .63% ending the day at $120.57. Exxon (XOM) closed lower at $75.56 down .9%. The energy sector was off 1.6% today overall as bearish inventory data surfaced to further complicate the situation.
As a result, the S&P 500 ended the session down .28% at 2856.27. The Dow moved lower too by 100.72 points and ended down .39% closing at 25,776.61 while the tech-heavy Nasdaq dropped .45% closing at 7750.82 & the Russell 2000 gave back most of yesterday’s gains dropping .9%.
The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) closed down at $14.75 or 1.34% and traded between $14.42 – $15.44 which is significantly tighter than what we have seen lately. The 2x leverage ETF TVIX also closed down at $20.94 dropping 2.29% and trading between $20.60 and $21.72 today also relatively tight.
Dow 30 components Caterpillar (CAT) closed at $123.56 down 1.11%
Pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co, Inc. (MRK) jumped 1.86% closing at $80.98 after announcing their purchase of Peloton Therapeutics for $1.05 Billion in cash. This acquisition gives them access to their lead kidney cancer drug candidate and is thought to further increase their position in renal cell carcinoma and its cancer drug portfolio in general.
Regarding chip makers & other tech concerns, Intel (INTC) ended down 1.03% closing at $44.00/share. Shares of Microsoft (MSFT) were up .61% closing at $127.67. Apple (AAPL) did not fare well closing at $182.78/share down 2.05%. Uber Technologies (UBER), the ride-sharing company who priced its IPO at $45 per share last week and raised a whopping $8.1 billion lost again today down .60% as it closed at $41.25 as it struggles to find a solid road in the public markets.
Disney (DIS) slid closing at $133.85 down .18%. Home Depot (HD) shares closed at $188.91 down 1.33% after reaffirming 2019 guidance yesterday.
Community Health Systems, Inc (CYH) hit an intraday high of $3.41/share & a low of $3.21 today and closed the day at $3.40 up .89% on 1.36 million shares of trading. Chairman & CEO Wayne T. Smith bought more CYH stock recently bringing his total purchases to a number north of $3mm. See SEC Form 4 filing. More Insider Buying purchases came from CYH director Ely S. James as a Form 4 today reveals a 50,000 CYH share purchase at $3.25/share on Friday, May 17th, 2019 and another 50,000 CYH share purchase at 3.15/share Monday, May 20th, 2019 for a total investment of $320,00. It is worth noting that CYH Management is continuing to push forward with their strategy to delever their balance sheet & sell off underperforming hospitals assets in order to improve cash flow. They seem to be making progress in these efforts, although early, evidenced by their recently published financial and operating results for the three months ended March 31, 2019.
The Seattle-based biotech firm developing novel therapeutics and delivery methods to treat breast cancer and other breast conditions Atossa Genetics (ATOS) had a good day as it saw its shares move higher and hit an intraday high of $2.89 before closing at $2.775 per share up 1.65%. Last week Atossa offered the following Q1 2019 Corporate Developments & Q1 2019 Financial Results. See Complete Story. The Maxim’s Group’s biotech analyst, Jason McCarthy, Ph.D., reiterated his ATOS buy rating yesterday with a $9/share 12-Month Target Price. See his update report which is called “Reports the Quarter, Endoxifen Programs Progressing, Data Updates Expected Over 2019.”
The US Dollar Index closed relatively flat at 98.09.
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