Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
rocketed higher right out of the gate, as U.S. politicians
expressed confidence in a "fiscal cliff" aversion. Meanwhile, a
double-dose of solid data from the housing sector added fuel to the
bulls' fire, helping the major market indexes to their best session
in two months.
Continue reading for more on today's market events,
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Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA)
got off to a great start, jumping triple digits at the opening
bell. What's more, the blue-chip barometer muscled higher through
the final hour of trading, advancing 207 points, or 1.7%, to topple
its 10-day moving average for the first time in nearly two weeks.
In fact, not one of the Dow's 30 components ended in the red; Bank
of America (
) paced the advance, tacking on 4.1%.
S&P 500 Index (SPX)
extended its climb as the session progressed, gaining 27 points, or
2%, to end north of its 200-day trendline for the first time since
Nov. 7. Faring even better, the
Nasdaq Composite (COMP)
finished almost 63 points, or 2.2%, higher, conquering its 10-day
moving average for the first time since Nov. 6.
CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX)
, on the other hand, gapped more than 7% lower, breaching its
80-day trendline -- and the 16 level -- for the first time in more
than a month.
A Trader's Take
"The market experienced a lot of follow-through buying from
Friday's strong close, as more and more market participants become
convinced that U.S. fiscal cliff discussions are making progress,"
said Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell. "The risk-on trade
was out in full effect, as technology and materials stocks led the
way and utilities stocks were the clear laggards."
In fact, he added, "This was our best-performing day in months,
so it was a nice break from the constant selling we've experienced
during the past several weeks. Beneath the fiscal cliff talk and
progress being made in Greek debt discussions, we actually had
better-than-expected home sales data released today. This is a good
sign for one of 2012's top-performing sectors."
Economic and Earnings News
Existing-home sales rose 2.1% in October to a seasonally
adjusted annual rate of 4.79 million, the National Association of
Realtors (NAR) reported, compared to a downwardly revised annual
rate of 4.69 million in September. Economists, on average, were
anticipating a rate of 4.8 million for October. On a year-over-year
basis, existing-home sales are up 10.9%, while the median
existing-home price is up 11.1% at $178,600. Inventories declined
1.4% to 2.14 million units in October -- the lowest since 2006 --
which is pressuring home prices, according to the NAR.
Homebuilder sentiment increased for a seventh straight month in
November, touching a six-year high. Specifically, the National
Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo housing market index rose
5 points to a seasonally adjusted level of 46, marking the loftiest
level since May 2006. The sentiment gauge has more than doubled in
the past year, as it stood at just 19 in November 2011.
More Stocks Making News
For today's activity in commodities, options, and more, head
to page 2.
In the Options Pits
- Option traders expect an extended rebound for
was targeted for a bullish spread strategy.
- Speculators closed near-the-money puts on
General Electric (GE)
- Hopes for solid Lumia sales drew call traders to
- Bulls gambled on additional upside for
SINA Corp (SINA)
, after the firm said it's selling a stake in Weibo to Alibaba
Escalating violence on the Gaza Strip translated into a boon for
black gold, with supply concerns pushing the front-month contract
to a four-week high. By the close, crude for January delivery added
$2.36, or 2.7%, to settle at $89.28 per barrel.
Investors sought safety in gold today, with Israel's army
standing ready to invade the Gaza Strip for the first time in
nearly four years. Meanwhile, hopes of averting the fiscal cliff
pressured the greenback lower, which also lured buyers to the
dollar-denominated commodity. Against this backdrop, December-dated
gold soared $19.70, or 1.2%, to end at $1,734.40 an ounce -- its
loftiest settlement since Oct. 18.
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