What's moving markets today: April 16, 2019

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3:29 p.m. ET, April 16, 2019

Qualcomm rallies 16% on Apple dispute settlement

Shares of Qualcomm (QCOM) jumped some 16% to its highest level since October in late Tuesday trading, after the chip maker and Apple (AAPL) said they had agreed to dismiss all litigation between one another.

The two tech giants reached a six-year license agreement, starting April 2019, with a two-year extension option. Apple is also due to pay Qualcomm an undisclosed amount.

Apple shares were up 0.3%

3:44 p.m. ET, April 16, 2019

Gold prices slip as the dollar strengthens

Gold prices dropped, as the resilient US dollar stayed strong.

“The reason we are not seeing any rally in the gold price is mainly due to the strength in the US economic data," which in turn strengthens the greenback, wrote Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at ThinkMarkets.

"This has two impacts: firstly, traders are more interested in pouring money in riskier assets. Finally, they do not believe that the Fed is going to maintain the same monetary policy stance which they currently hold.”

Gold futures hit their lowest level since January, settling at $1277 an ounce. Earlier in the trading session, futures dropped to their worst level since December. And that could mean that gold is headed even lower.

1:47 p.m. ET, April 16, 2019

Chinese Tesla rival Nio's stock just hit an all-time low

Nio (NIO), the troubled car company billed as China's answer to Tesla, has hit an all-time low, according to our Paul R. La Monica:

Here's the stock's decline since it went public in September 2018:

  • Earlier this month, the Shanghai-based company said its sales have been sluggish so far this year and scrapped plans to build a factory in China.
  • The company blamed the slump on uncertainty over government subsidies for electric vehicles and China's slowing economy.
3:43 p.m. ET, April 16, 2019

BlackRock's Larry Fink thinks stocks haven't reached their highs yet

BlackRock (BLK) CEO Larry Fink thinks US stocks, which are notably close to record highs, are more likely to rally further than to turn lower — even though many market watchers are worried about the next bubble.

"Despite where the markets are in equities, we have not seen money being put to work," Fink said on CNBC this morning, adding he was still seeing outflows in stocks.

Just months ago, investors assumed that the Federal Reserve would raise interest rates further, which would have been great for fixed income securities but not so great for stocks. BlackRock itself recorded a record $32 billion inflow into its bond funds between January and March, according to its first quarter results.

But with the Fed taking its foot off the gas, the reverse should hold true, and stocks should get another boost as allocations catch up, according to Fink's reasoning.

12:03 p.m. ET, April 16, 2019

Stocks hold earnings-fueled gains at midday

Stocks held their modest gains halfway through Tuesday’s trading day.

  • The Dow is up 0.2%
  • The S&P 500 is up 0.1%
  • The Nasdaq is up 0.3%, and earlier rose above 8,000 for the first time in six months

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), the best performing stock in the Dow today, is up 1.9% after beating expectations for its first quarter results.

The Dow's biggest loser? Shares of United Health Group (UNH), which also beat estimates and raised its 2019 forecast, are down 3.3%.

Insurance provider Progressive (PGR) led gainers in the S&P, climbing 6.6%, after reporting stronger-than-expected earnings.

11:02 a.m. ET, April 16, 2019

Nasdaq tops 8,000 for the first time since October

The Nasdaq rose above 8,000 points for the first time in six months on Tuesday.

It was led higher by gains in technology and health care stocks.

At its high, the benchmark touched 8,018 points on Tuesday, its best level since October 2018. It hit its all-time intraday high of 8,133 in September.

9:47 a.m. ET, April 16, 2019

Stocks edge higher at the open

US stocks kicked off Tuesday’s session off slightly higher as earnings remained in focus.

  • The Dow started the session 0.4%, or 111 points, higher. 
  • The S&P 500 rose 0.3% and the Nasdaq was up 0.4%.

In notable corporate results of the day, Bank of America (BAC) beat earnings expectations for but reported flat revenues. Its shares were down 2.1%. Asset manager BlackRock (BLK) reported strong results, including an influx of cash into fixed income ETFs. BlackRock stock climbed 1.9%.

Elsewhere, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and UnitedHealth (UNH) both beat expectations as well. Their shares were up 2.9% and 0.2%, respectively.

9:29 a.m. ET, April 16, 2019

Caesars takes a bet with new CEO

Caesars Entertainment (CZR) has named a new CEO as it grows closer to a potential sale thats billionaire Carl Icahn has been pushing.

The resort company named Anthony Rodio to the top job. He currently holds the same role for Affinity Gaming, which owns several smaller casinos.

Rodio, who will also join Caesars board, replaces Mark Frissora. Rodio and Icahn previously worked together and Icahn has reportedly been looking to replace Frissora.

Icahn holds 18% of Caesars' shares and has recently remade its board. Shares are down nearly 2% in premarket trading.

9:38 a.m. ET, April 16, 2019

Netflix's stock has been on a wild ride since its last earnings

Since it last reported earnings in late January, Netflix's (NFLX) stock had more ups-and-downs than one if its original series.

The stock has only grown 3% in the last three months:

The company has been dealing with increasing competition, including from Disney (DIS) and Apple (AAPL). Uncertainties about its user growth and its mounting debt have concerned investors.

Disney's highly anticipated announcement that it will soon enter the streaming wars has recently dented Netflix's stock: Shares are down roughly 5% since last Friday.

But, there's good news ahead of earnings: Shares are up nearly 2% Tuesday in early trading after a Deutsche Bank analyst said the service is becoming a "cultural necessity."

The stock is up 32% for the year.