Outside of a slight dip below breakeven around lunchtime, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) spent almost the entire session trading modestly higher. With nothing in the way of earnings or economic data to inspire traders, stocks reacted to rising oil prices -- which helped temper anxiety surrounding geopolitical events. Even amid a broader rise in the stock market, the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) also gained ground, closing north of 14 for the first time this year. There's plenty more on this week's docket that could impact the VIX , too, with a speech from Fed Chair Janet Yellen currently underway, and big banks kicking off first-quarter earnings season .
Continue reading for more on today's market, including:
- While United dealt with a PR disaster, these 2 penny stocks plunged.
- This surging social media stock has options traders buzzing.
- Bearish traders could hold the key to a technical breakout for Geron.
- Plus, the drug stock soaring on takeover chatter; Tesla takes the top spot; and AMD option bulls throw in the towel.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA- 20,658.02) explored a 135-point range, eventually settling up 1.9 points. Thirteen of the Dow's 30 components closed higher, led by Caterpillar stock 's 1.7% gain. Merck paced the 17 decliners with its 0.9% loss.
The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,357.16) bounced near a familiar floor at 2,350, before closing 1.6 points, or 0.07%, higher. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 5,880.93) added 3.1 points, or 0.05%.
The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 14.05) rose 1.2 points, or 9.2%, to mark its highest close since Dec. 2.
5 Items on Our Radar Today
- Taiwan-based Foxconn is rumored to be mulling a nearly $27 billion bid for Toshiba's chip business. This would increase the number of suitors to three, with SK Hynix and Broadcom already in the mix. (Reuters)
- Whole Foods stock jumped about 10%, after an SEC filing revealed Jana Partners had acquired a nearly 9% stake in the organic grocer, making it the second-largest shareholder. The activist investor is reportedly urging Whole Foods to seek out strategic options, including a possible sale. (MarketWatch)
- Generic drugmaker Akorn hit its highest level in eight months, after the company confirmed it is in buyout discussions with Germany-based Fresenius .
- Less than one week after ousting Ford Motor as the number two biggest U.S. automaker, Tesla edged out General Motors for the top spot today.
- Advanced Micro Devices stock continued to decline, prompting more front-month options bulls to call it a day.
Data courtesy of Trade-Alert
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