Dow Secures a Triple-Digit Gain, Takes Out 16,000

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"We had a better-than-expected jobless claims number that was released this morning, but overall, it seemed like most participants shrugged off yesterday's late day sell-off," noted Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell, CMT. "Although the initial reaction to the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) minutes was negative, I think most investors realized that nothing dramatic or new was really offered by the Fed." Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) notched a triple-digit advance, pushing it back atop the 16,000 level.

Continue reading for more on today's market, including :

plus...
    Fed Chair nominee Janet Yellen received approval from the Senate Banking Committee, weekly jobless claims hit a multi-month low, and Intel Corporation ( INTC ) attracted a group of eleventh-hour option bulls.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 16,009.99) spent the entire session in the black, and ended up finishing 109.2 points, or 0.7%, higher on the day -- its first ever close above the 16,000 mark. Intel led the blue-chip index's 23 advancers with a gain of 2.7%, while a 0.7% drop for Caterpillar Inc. ( CAT ) paced the seven decliners.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,795.85) also moved higher out of the gate, and closed 14.5 points, or 0.8%, higher. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 3,969.15) climbed 47.9 points, or 1.2%.


Elsewhere, the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 12.66) stumbled at the sound of the opening bell, and shed 0.7 point, or 5.5%, for the session.

CLOSING SUMMARY - INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY - NYSE AND NASDAQ

A Trader's Take :

"After three consecutive down days for the S&P 500, it was nice to see some sectors finish in the green, as market participants came to life," Bell remarked. "The rally was pretty broad based, as well, but financials have definitely been one of the bright spots in recent weeks, and once again posted solid gains."

3 Things to Know About Today's Market :

  • Janet Yellen is now closer to becoming the first woman to chair the Federal Reserve , after the Senate Banking Committee approved her nomination earlier today. The known dove secured 14 votes in her favor, versus eight against. The final confirmation -- which involves the full Senate -- will likely occur in December. (NBC News)
  • The Labor Department said initial jobless claims fell by 21,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 323,000 -- marking the largest decline in almost three months. Analysts, on average, were expecting a drop to just 334,000. Meanwhile, the four-week moving average for first-time filings decreased by 6,750 to 338,500. (MarketWatch)
  • The Philadelphia Fed's manufacturing index arrived at 6.5 this month, denoting a sharp drop from last month's reading of 19.8. The latest figure also fell notably short of consensus estimates for a reading of 15.0. (Reuters via CNBC)

5 Stocks We Were Watching Today :

  1. Facebook Inc ( FB ) scored some bullish analyst attention in pre-market action this morning.
  2. Near-term speculators from both sides of the options fence zeroed in on Transocean LTD (RIG) .
  3. Morgan Stanley (MS) saw a rare surge in put volume, particularly among longer-term options.
  4. Some positive price action for Intel Corporation ( INTC ) attracted last-minute option bulls.
  5. Pessimistic traders forecast a significant drop for J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (JCP) over the course of the next two-plus years.

EARNINGS

For a look at today's options movers and commodities activity, head to page 2.

STOCKS - NOTABLE CALL ACTIVITY

STOCKS - NOTABLE PUT ACTIVITY

Commodities :

Crude futures gained ground today, thanks to strong gas and heating-oil demand in the U.S., as well as some encouraging economic data. By the time the dust settled, the January contract climbed $1.59, or 1.7%, to end at $95.44 per barrel -- the highest closing price for a most active contract since late October.

Conversely, gold futures declined, as the same upbeat economic data reinforced tapering concerns. December-dated gold fell $14.40, or 1.1%, to finish at $1,243.60 per ounce -- the lowest settlement price for a most active contract since early July.

SCHAEFFER'S MARKET POSTURE



The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

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This article appears in: Investing , Options

Referenced Stocks: AAPL , CAT , F , FB , INTC

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