"Today's rally was all about Ben Bernanke," commented
Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell, CMT. "We came into this
session with a lot of upward momentum, but the Fed Chairman's
post-close comments from yesterday were taken as a sign that
tapering would happen later than perhaps some expected." As such,
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
finished the session with a triple-digit gain that was just shy of
its intraday peak.
Continue reading for more on today's market, including
Big Ben cheers the markets, Microsoft (
) stirs things up, and Bank of America (
) bulls emerge.
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 15,460.92)
achieved a new closing high, exceeding its May 28 close of
15,409.39 by a modest margin. The blue-chip index added 169.3
points on the day, climbing 1.1%. All 30 Dow components moved
higher today; in the lead was Intel (
), which added 3.2%. The "worst" performer, on a relative basis,
was IBM (IBM), which eked out a 0.3% gain.
S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,675.02)
also finished at a new closing peak, eclipsing the previous record
of 1,669.16 (set on May 21), to end with a gain of 22.4 points, or
1.4%. Neither the SPX nor the Dow managed to overtake their
Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 3,578.30)
, on the other hand, hit an intraday peak of 3,579.29 -- its
highest level since the fall of 2000 -- before closing slightly off
this acme, up 57.5 points, or 1.6%.
CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 14.01)
made a valiant effort to break higher in late-morning trading, but
ultimately spent the entire session in negative territory, closing
with a loss of 0.2 point, or 1.4%.
A Trader's Take
"The rally continues," added Bell. "Most major markets are at or
near all-time highs, and the momentum has been incredible. The
S&P 500 Index (SPX)
has finished in the green for the sixth consecutive session, and
gains were experienced by almost all of the major sectors."
3 Things to Know About Today's Market
- One of the main factors driving stocks today actually
happened yesterday evening, as Federal Reserve Chairman
Ben Bernanke calmed "tapering" fears
via remarks at a National Bureau of Economic Research conference.
Specifically, the Fed boss noted that, "Highly accommodative
monetary policy for the foreseeable future is what's needed."
- Microsoft (
) CEO Steve Ballmer announced a
, designed to enhance focus on non-PC devices and more modern
offerings such as cloud-based software. Among the changes were
new appointments for many of the company's top leaders.
(The Washington Post)
- Initial jobless claims jumped by 16,000 last week to a
seasonally adjusted two-month high
of 360,000. Economists were expecting the figure to edge lower to
slipped by 0.2% in June, while export prices edged down 0.1%.
Both readings have fallen in each of the last four months,
marking the longest streak of declines since 2008.
(Los Angeles Times, Reuters)
5 Stocks We Were Watching Today
- Search engine giant
scored a pair of bullish brokerage notes.
- Short- and long-term call buyers took an unusual interest in
Bank of America (
General Electric Company (GE)
caught the attention of pessimistic speculators, who bet on a
downturn by January.
- Aggressive bearish traders wagered on a steep retreat for
SunPower Corporation (SPWR)
Cisco Systems (CSCO)
calls were in demand, after the stock touched its second
multi-year peak in three days.
For a look at today's options movers and commodities
activity, head to page 2.
Oil futures declined from yesterday's 15-month peak, after the
International Energy Agency said an increase in crude supplies from
non-OPEC countries in 2013 and 2014 may outpace global demand.
August-dated oil fell $1.61, or 1.5%, to settle at $104.91 per
Meanwhile, gold futures finished higher for a fourth straight
day, as the malleable metal was also buoyed by Bernanke's
reassuring comments. The August-dated contract spiked $32.50, or
2.6%, to close at $1,279.90 an ounce.
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