Close Update: Rally Runs Out of Steam, But Dow Closes in Record Territory for Sixth Day

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average eked out a positive close for the sixth day in a row after spending most of the day in negative territory as profit-taking tugged the benchmark averages off their record highs.The Standard & Poor's 500 and Nasdaq Composite reversed most of the day's losses, but closed fractionally lower on losses in the energy and financial sectors.

The major indices set record highs at the open but could not sustain the gains after reports circulated through Wall Street that a leveraged option fund concluded its $17 billion short-covering spree. Catalyst Fund later confirmed that its "forced-buying" was complete and had "finished adjusting" its portfolio. The action corresponded with a departure in the S&P 500 from its latest record high, sending stocks into retreat.

President Donald Trump's press conference this afternoon failed to resuscitate equities as the president steered clear of mentioning fiscal stimulus or tax cuts, instead defending his relationship with Russia, and berating the press for what he claimed is biased coverage.

Eventually, however, the Dow was able to resurface over 20,600, but struggled to stay positive until landing at the close with an eight point gain and its sixth consecutive record-high close.

The defensive tone on Wall Street lured investors into fixed-income securities, driving Treasury yields lower for the first time in six days, and extinguishing demand for banking stocks. The dollar was also lower, while the price of gold was up $7 to a five-day high.

Economic data before the opening bell did not generate much interest even though the Philadelphia Fed business outlook index soared to a 33-year high of 43.3 from 23.6 in January.

Housing data was mixed as new construction was down 2.6% to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 1.246 million, but permits were up 4.6% to a SAAR of 1.285 million.

Additionally, initial jobless claims increased a much less-than-expected 5,000 to 239,000 versus expectations for a gain of 12,000.

The week closes out with a light economic calendar. Leading economic indicators at 10:00am ET are projected to increase 0.4%.

Here's where the markets stood at the close:


Dow Jones Industrial Index was up 7.91 points (+0.04%)

S&P 500 was down 2.03 points (-0.09%)

Nasdaq Composite Index was down 4.54 points (-0.08%)


FTSE 100 was down 0.34%

Nikkei 225 was down 0.47%

Hang Seng Index was up 0.47%

Shanghai China Composite Index was up 0.52%


(+) SCON (+34.78%) Awarded a patent for unique manufacturing process

(+) CUR (+18.55%) Completed subject enrolment in phase 2 clinical trial of NSI-189 for major depressive disorder

(+) NTES (+14.08%) Reported upbeat Q4 earnings

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(+) RUBI (+6.19%) Selected by SoundCloud to automate its streaming audio and video ad inventory


(-) CFMS (-30.64%) Reported a wider-than-expected Q4 loss

(-) HOS (-26.36%) Reported wider-than-expected loss, missed revenue estimates

(-) ACUR (-23.36%) Received de-listing notification from Nasdaq

(-) BBW (-21.43%) Reported Q4 sales and earnings below expectations

(-) MOH (-17.88%) Swung to a loss in Q4, missing estimates for profit of $0.75 per share

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

Copyright (C) 2016 All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

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

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