Dow Secures Triple-Digit Gain, Tags Record High


"It was a pretty mixed day of price action, as a lot of the momentum names underperformed, and many of the big-cap stocks outperformed," observed Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell, CMT. "Most notably, tech and small-cap stocks lagged throughout the trading session." Meanwhile the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) rallied to new heights, and the S&P 500 Index (SPX) came within striking distance of its own record high.

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

    Microsoft Corporation ( MSFT ) notched a decade-plus high on CEO news, the Conference Board's index of leading economic indicators rose more than expected in September, and eBay Inc ( EBAY ) saw a jump in bullish options activity.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 15,746.88) spent the entire day in positive territory, and touched a record intraday peak of 15,750.29 just ahead of the closing bell. By the end of the session, the blue-chip index was up 128.7 points, or 0.8% -- marking an all-time closing high. Microsoft Corporation ( MSFT ) led the Dow's 27 advancers with a gain of 4.2%, while Nike Inc's ( NKE ) drop of 0.6% paced the three laggards.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,770.49) tagged a session high of 1,773.74 early on, and gained 7.5 points, or 0.4%, by the close -- just a stone's throw away from a record closing high. Conversely, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 3,931.95) shed 7.9 points, or 0.2%, on the day.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 12.67) was parked mostly in the red today, finishing 0.6 point, or 4.5%, lower.



A Trader's Take :

"Some of the really big names in the Dow showed incredible performances today," Bell went on. "Microsoft Corporation ( MSFT ), Cisco Systems, Inc. ( CSCO ), and Intel Corporation (INTC) all registered nice gains and helped the Dow outperform all of the other major indices."

3 Things to Know About Today's Market :

  • Shares of Microsoft hit a decade-plus high today, after the firm said it's close to appointing a new CEO, with the shortlist to replace Steve Ballmer including Ford Motor Company (F) CEO Alan Mulally. Meanwhile, an analyst at Nomura who works closely with the software giant said a changing of the guard could result in the sale of MSFT's Bing and Xbox businesses. (Reuters)
  • Cleveland Fed President Sandra Pianalto is the latest central bank figure to weigh in on the topic of tapering . During a speech in Columbus, Ohio, the Fed official expressed caution regarding the continuation of the current bond-buying program, and noted, "My hope is that the economic recovery will accelerate so that the Fed gains the reassurance it needs to begin winding the program." (MarketWatch)
  • The Conference Board said its Leading Economic Index climbed 0.7% to 97.1 in September, matching the increase recorded in the month prior. Economists, on average, were expecting a rise of just 0.6%. (CNBC)

5 Stocks We Were Watching Today :

  1. A well-received quarterly earnings report for International, Ltd. (ADR) (CTRP) triggered a pair of price-target hikes for the online travel concern.
  2. BlackBerry Ltd (BBRY) saw a surge of selling activity in its December-dated puts, the expiration date of which coincides with the firm's next earnings report.
  3. Speculators wagered on extended gains for eBay Inc ( EBAY ) by scooping up the stock's in-the-money, November-dated call options.
  4. Opinions toward Twitter Inc (TWTR) are varied on Wall Street ahead of the Internet company's long-waited IPO tomorrow.
  5. Ford Motor Company (F) put activity spiked despite some upbeat sales news abroad, but not all of today's volume was of the bearish variety.


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



Commodities :

Crude futures climbed higher today, thanks to a smaller-than-anticipated increase in oil supplies last week. By the closing bell, the December contract gained $1.43, or 1.5%, to end at $94.80 per barrel -- the largest daily advance for a most active contract since early October.

Gold futures also gained ground, as a weaker dollar gave the malleable metal a bit of momentum. December-dated gold added $9.70, or 0.7%, to finish at $1,317.80 per ounce.


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

All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized reproduction of any SIR publication is strictly prohibited.

This article appears in: Investing , Options

Referenced Stocks: CSCO , EBAY , MSFT , NKE , TSLA

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