"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
Continue reading for more on today's market, including
Fed Chair nominee Janet Yellen received approval from the
Senate Banking Committee, weekly jobless claims hit a multi-month
low, and Intel Corporation (
) attracted a group of eleventh-hour option bulls.
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. (
) paced the seven decliners.
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%.
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.
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
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.
- 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.
- The Philadelphia Fed's
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
Facebook Inc (
scored some bullish analyst attention in pre-market action this
- Near-term speculators from both sides of the options fence
zeroed in on
Transocean LTD (RIG)
Morgan Stanley (MS)
saw a rare surge in put volume, particularly among longer-term
- Some positive price action for
Intel Corporation (
attracted last-minute option bulls.
- Pessimistic traders forecast a significant drop for
J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (JCP)
over the course of the next two-plus years.
For a look at today's options movers and commodities
activity, head to page 2.
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.
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