Dow, S&P 500 Hit Record Highs


"There wasn't a lot of news out there today, and most of the broad indices finished the session in mixed fashion, with little movement in either direction," noted Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell, CMT. "After a big move at the end of last week, it's not surprising that we took a little pause here." Nevertheless, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) managed to touch a notable milestone in intraday action, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) settled at a record closing high.

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

    Homebuilder confidence remained flat this month, The Boeing Company ( BA ) booked a slew of orders for its new 777X jet, and Microsoft Corporation ( MSFT ) received a bearish brokerage note.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 15,976.02) surged north of the 16,000 mark for the first time -- and touched a record intraday peak of 16,030.28 -- within the first few minutes of trading. By the end, the blue-chip index was up just 14.3 points, or nearly 0.1% -- enough to notch an all-time closing high. Boeing led the Dow's 14 advancers with a gain of 1.7%, while a 1.7% loss for Microsoft paced the 15 laggards. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (WMT) remained unchanged.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,791.53) also spiked to an all-time intraday peak of 1,802.33 -- its first foray above the 1,800 level -- early in the session, but finished 6.7 points, or 0.4%, lower. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 3,949.07) tagged a fresh 13-year high of 3,994.97 before shedding 36.9 points, or 0.9%, by the closing bell.

Elsewhere, the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 13.10) spent all of the session parked in positive territory, and ended the day 0.9 point, or 7.5%, higher.



A Trader's Take :

"The Dow was the real standout today, as industrials performed much better than many of the other sectors," Bell observed. "In particular, The Boeing Company ( BA ) and General Electric Company (GE) both had pretty nice days."

3 Things to Know About Today's Market :

  • The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo housing market index remained unchanged at 54 in November, the same figure that marked a four-month low in October. Economists, on average, were expecting a reading of 55. (MarketWatch)
  • At the Dubai Air Show last weekend, The Boeing Company ( BA ) received $95 billion in orders from three Middle Eastern airlines for 225 of the firm's new -- and more fuel efficient -- 777X jets. (The New York Times)
  • Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser said the central bank should set a fixed dollar amount on its current stimulus program. During a speech delivered to the Risk Management Association, the Fed leader noted, "We cannot continue to play this bond-buying game by ear and risk the Fed's credibility while creating lingering uncertainty about the course of monetary policy." (Reuters via CNBC)

5 Stocks We Were Watching Today :

  1. Microsoft Corporation ( MSFT ) was slapped with a downgrade amid some M&A rumors surrounding rival Apple Inc. (AAPL).
  2. Near-term bulls pounced on LinkedIn Corp (LNKD) , and showed a particular preference for the stock's December-dated calls.
  3. Google Inc (GOOG) announced the opening of several product showrooms across the country to help ramp up holiday sales.
  4. Trader optimism continues to run hot on Apple Inc. (AAPL) , with some speculators eyeing a move above a key level.
  5. A fresh two-year peak for Bank of America Corp (BAC) triggered a flurry of call volume, particularly of the weekly variety.


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



Commodities :

Crude futures were dragged lower today by tapering fears and looming talks over Iran's nuclear program. By the time the dust settled, the December contract shaved off 81 cents, or 0.9%, to end at $93.03 per barrel -- the lowest closing price for a most active contract since late May.

Likewise, the same tapering anxieties weighed on gold futures, with December-dated gold falling $15.10, or 1.2%, to finish at $1,272.30 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 OMX Group, Inc.

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

This article appears in: Investing , Options

Referenced Stocks: BA , HD , LOW , MSFT , YHOO

Schaeffer's Investment Research

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