"The positive momentum from last week's reaction to the Fed's
tapering decision has carried over into this holiday-shortened
week," remarked Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell, CMT.
"The official start to the well-known 'Santa Claus' rally isn't
until tomorrow, but the early weakness in December has so far shown
to be a nice buying opportunity once again." Meanwhile, the
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
, S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (COMP) extended
their quests for record highs following this morning's encouraging
Continue reading for more on today's market, including
Personal spending gained ground in November, consumer sentiment
hit a multi-month high, and a new deal for Apple Inc. (
) triggered a
bullish brokerage note
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 16,294.61)
jumped at the sound of the opening bell, and reached a record
intraday peak of 16,318.11 around midday. The blue-chip barometer
went on to finish 73.5 points, or 0.5%, higher -- securing another
all-time closing high. The Dow's 22 advancers were led by Cisco
Systems, Inc.'s (
) gain of 2.1%, while The Procter & Gamble Company (
) paced the eight decliners with a loss of 0.7%.
S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,827.99)
was also parked in the green for the duration of the session,
cruising to an all-time intraday peak of 1,829.75 around 12:30 p.m.
ET. By day's end, the index was up 9.7 points, or 0.5% -- notching
a record closing high. Not to be outdone, the
Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,148.90)
tagged a 13-year intraday peak of 4,149.30, and added 44.2 points,
or 1.1%, by the close.
CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 13.04)
extended last week's decline to finish the session 0.8 point, or
A Trader's Take
"The technology sector really stood out today, with Apple Inc. (
) showing a lot of strength after securing a multi-year
distribution agreement with China Mobile Ltd. (ADR) (CHL),"
continued Bell. "This group has shown a lot of strength during the
past several months, after lagging a bit over the first half of
5 Items on Our Radar Today
- The Commerce Department said
increased by a seasonally adjusted 0.5% in November, marking its
fastest growth rate since June. Meanwhile, personal income edged
up 0.2% -- a narrower gain than what was projected by economists.
- The final December reading of the Thomson Reuters/University
consumer sentiment index
held at 82.5, versus November's final figure of 75.1. Although
the latest reading was slightly shy of consensus estimates, it
still marked the index's highest level since July.
Apple Inc. (
scored a price-target hike following news of an iPhone deal with
China Mobile Ltd. (ADR) (CHL).
- Bullish bettors forecast near-term gains for
Alcatel Lucent SA (ADR) (ALU)
by snapping up January-dated call options.
- Weekly call volume spiked on
J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (JCP)
, after some encouraging sales data hit the Street on
For a look at today's options movers and commodities
activity, head to page 2.
Crude futures declined slightly today, with the February
contract falling 41 cents, or 0.4%, to finish at $98.91 per
Meanwhile, gold futures were dragged lower by a pair of upbeat
economic reports. February-dated gold lopped off $6.70, or 0.6%, to
close at $1,197 an ounce.