Stock Market Today Sees Nasdaq Hit Third-Straight Record Close

For July 20, 2015, here's how the stock market did today, earnings reports, the top stock market news, and stocks to watch based on today's market moves...

How Did the Stock Market Do Today?

stock market todayDow Jones: 18,100.41; +13.96; +0.08% 

S&P 500: 2,128.28; +1.64; +0.08%

Nasdaq: 5,218.86; +8.72; +0.17%

The DJIA today continued to rally to its seventh winning session in eight days, fueled by better than expected quarterly earnings reports. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq hit its third-straight record high as technology stocks continued to push the exchange higher.

After the markets close today, International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) will report earnings.

The S&P 500 Volatility Index (VIX), the market's fear gauge, slipped 0.6%.

Top Stock Market News Today

  • Commodities Take a Hit: Commodity prices slipped while companies continue to release positive earnings reports. Another round of better than expected earnings reports turned investors' attentions away from recent woes on the international front. As Money Morning Special Contributor Michael Lewitt explains, traders are just whistling past the graveyard right after the markets were paralyzed by crises in Greece and China. Here's his insight on what comes next.
  • Gold Crash: Gold prices fell below the benchmark level of $1,100 today, sending shares of gold miners down further. Today's biggest decliner was Newmont Mining Corp. (NYSE: NEM), which saw shares fall more than 12% thanks to the metal's eighth-straight session decline. Prices continue to fall on news that mutual fund managers are ditching their positions and that China's reserve levels were significantly less than what analysts had anticipated.
  • Oil Outlook: Oil prices slumped to their lowest levels since April. WTI crude futures for September dipped below $50 per barrel to finish down 1.8% on the day. Meanwhile, Brent oil prices slipped 1% to hit $56.54 per barrel. Oil prices continue to slump as the markets prepare for Iran to increase its production and exports to the global markets.
  • Greek Tragedy: This morning, Greek banks reopened for the first time in more than three weeks. The country's government hopes that its economy will be able to recover after a three-week period that fueled concerns the nation may have to leave the Eurozone. Its government has placed strict withdrawal limits on its citizens and higher taxes have pushed the price of almost everything higher. To make matters worse, the country has a €3.5 billion (£2.4 billion, $3.8 billion) debt payment due to the European Central Bank today. This is the first payment since it defaulted to the International Monetary Fund last month.
  • On Tap Tomorrow: A light editorial calendar and concerns over Greece's debt crisis will continue the market's focus on June-ending earnings reports. Companies reporting earnings tomorrow include ACE Ltd. (NYSE: ACE), Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL), Baker Hughes Inc. (NYSE: BHI), Eastern Co. (NYSE: EML), GoPro Inc. (Nasdaq: GPRO), Harley-Davidson Inc. (NYSE: HOG), Lockheed Martin Corp. (NYSE: LMT), Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ), and Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO).

Stocks to Watch: PYPL, GPRO, VSLR, HAS, AAPL

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  • Stocks to Watch No. 1, PYPL: Shares of PayPal Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq: PYPL) jumped about 6% after its official spin-off from former parent eBay Inc. (Nasdaq: EBAY). The spin-off has given PayPal a larger market capitalization level than its former parent and knocked eBay off the Fortune 100 list. Shares of eBay were up more than 2.4% on the day.
  • Stocks to Watch No. 2, GPRO: Shares of GoPro Inc. (Nasdaq: GPRO) jumped more than 7% ahead of its earnings release on Tuesday. The company is expected to release a second-quarter earnings amount of $0.26 per share with revenues of $395 million. The company's stock is up more than 40% over the last year but remains down more than 5% since January.
  • Stocks to Watch No. 3, VSLR: Shares of Vivant Solar Inc. (Nasdaq: VSLR) were up more than 44% on news that it will be purchased by energy giant SunEdison Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNE) for roughly $2.2 billion. In addition, TerraForm Power Inc. (Nasdaq: TERP) saw shares fall nearly 6% on news that it will purchase a Vivant solar portfolio as part of the deal terms.
  • Stocks to Watch No. 4, HAS: Shares of Hasbro Inc. (NYSE: HAS) jumped 6.3% on news that the company beat Wall Street earnings expectations with a per-share quarterly profit of $0.33. The company said that it saw strong performance in its Nerf, Marvel, and Star Wars product franchises and benefited from merchandise linked to the summer film "Jurassic World."
  • Stocks to Watch No. 5: AAPL: Shares of Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) were up more than 1.8% as traders became much more upbeat about the stock's potential as it prepares to report third-quarter earnings. As Money Morning Associate Editor Dave Zeiler explains, the Apple Q3 earningswill not only beat expectations, it will smash them. To learn why AAPL stock is continues to surge and why it's such a remarkable long-term play, read all about Apple's earnings report right here.

Stay informed on what's going on in the markets by following us on Twitter @moneymorning.

What Investors Must Know This Week

About the Author

Garrett Baldwin is a globally recognized research economist, financial writer, consultant, and political risk analyst with decades of trading experience and degrees in economics, cybersecurity, and business from Johns Hopkins, Purdue, Indiana University, and Northwestern.

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