Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
muscled steadily higher as the session progressed, as Wall Street
celebrated reports of a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip. After more
than a week of fighting, Israel and Hamas agreed to call a halt to
air strikes and missile attacks, with negotiations brokered by
Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Amr and U.S. Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton. Against this backdrop, stocks ended a lightly
traded session on a high note, with the S&P 500 Index (SPX)
extending its winning streak to four sessions.
Continue reading for more on today's market events,
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Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA)
finished with a gain of 48.4 points, or 0.4%, ending north of
12,800 for the first time since Nov. 12. All but six of the Dow's
30 components settled higher, led by Hewlett-Packard's (
) 2% rebound. On the flip side, DuPont (
) paced the bearish minority, giving up 0.9%.
S&P 500 Index (SPX)
added 3.2 points, or 0.2%, while the
Nasdaq Composite (COMP)
gained nearly 10 points, or 0.3%.
CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX)
also turned higher, tacking on about 2% to snap its three-session
A Trader's Take
"Overall, most market participants are more concerned with
turkey than they are about which stocks to buy and sell," said
Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell.
"We had little reaction to this morning's unemployment claims
data, which came in slightly better than expected," he continued.
"The SPX managed to trade slightly higher and continue its
short-term momentum from the past few trading days. After several
weeks of selling, the market has actually managed three days of
pretty nice price action. Bulls welcome the relief rally, but most
people are once again looking forward to lots of food, time with
family, and plenty of football."
Economic and Earnings News
In the week ended Nov. 17, as the East Coast continued to dig
out from Superstorm Sandy, initial jobless claims were off 41,000
to 410,000, in line with the average estimate. Meanwhile, the
previous week's claims were upwardly revised to 451,000 from
439,000. This marks the first time in more than a year that claims
have remained above 400,000 for two consecutive weeks, though the
Sandy impact is likely a factor. Taking a broader look, the
four-week moving average tracking initial claims was higher by
9,500, at 396,250.
The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment
index backpedaled to 82.7 at the end of November, down from the
mid-month reading of 84.9. Economists had predicted a smaller
decline to 83.5; however, the index is still hovering just north of
its final October perch at 82.6.
The Conference Board's index of leading economic indicators
edged up 0.2% in October, matching the consensus estimate of
economists. However, September's gain was downwardly revised to
0.5% from the originally reported 0.6%. "Based on current trends,
the economy will continue to expand modestly through the early
months of 2013," said Conference Board economist Ken Goldstein.
More Stocks Making News
For today's activity in commodities, options, and more, head
to page 2.
In the Options Pits
Oil futures pared a portion of yesterday's losses, thanks to a
surprise decline in domestic stockpiles. Specifically, oil
inventories dropped for the first week in three, falling by 1.5
million to 374.5 million barrels, compared to economists'
expectations for a million-barrel increase. Black gold spent part
of the session in the red, as news of a cease-fire between Israel
and Hamas eased concerns about supplies in the region. By the
close, January-dated oil added 63 cents, or 0.7%, to end at $87.38
Gold futures also bounced back from yesterday's drubbing, as
data from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) showed that central
banks in Brazil, Kazakhstan, and Russia boosted their gold reserves
last month. By the close, gold for December delivery tacked on
$4.60, or 0.3%, to finish at $1,728.20 an ounce.
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