The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) came within 45 points of the 20,000 mark before pulling back again, ultimately ending in the red. Initially boosting stocks was a 12-year high in the NFIB small business optimism index, and an in-line Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) from the Labor Department. However, uneasiness returned ahead of tomorrow's press conference from President-elect Donald Trump , who will take office in just 10 days. Still, these fears had less effect on the S&P 500 Index (SPX) , which finished the session unchanged, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite (COMP) , which kept its momentum alive to notch yet another new intraday high, as well as its third straight record closing high .
Continue reading for more on today's market, including:
- The Nasdaq-100 Index (NDX) "super round number" level nobody's watching.
- Is a "FANG" stock merger in the making?
- The drug stock that soared 21% .
- Plus ... the rumors that boosted FireEye, a bank stock that could resume its rally, and an options opportunity on Chevron.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA- 19,855.53) dipped 31.9 points, or 0.2%, by the end of the day, with drugmaker Merck & Co., Inc. ( MRK ) leading the 21 laggards on a 1.9% drop. Pacing the gainers was construction equipment specialist Caterpillar Inc. ( CAT ), which tacked on 1.6%.
The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,268.90) ended unchanged for the day, while the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 5,551.82) added 20 points, or 0.4% for its highest-ever finish, tagging a fresh all-time intraday peak of 5,564.25 along the way.
The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 11.49) slipped less than 0.1 point, or 0.6%.
5 Items on Our Radar Today
Retail giant Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. ( WMT ) will cut hundreds of jobs both in stores and corporate headquarters, by Jan. 31, when the company's fiscal year ends. This is just the latest in a string of layoffs for Wal-Mart, which cut some 7,000 back-office positions last September. ( CNBC )
German carmaker Volkwagen AG is reportedly close to reaching a settlement with U.S. authorities regarding the emissions scandal that's been plaguing the company since late 2015. Aside from a reported $4.3 billion settlement, Volkswagen may plead guilty to some criminal charges, while making further changes in its business practice to ensure compliance in the future. ( Bloomberg )
- The renewed M&A rumors that boosted FireEye Inc ( FEYE ).
- Is this outperforming bank stock about to take off again?
- Why oil stock Chevron Corporation ( CVX ) is presenting an options-buying bargain .
Data courtesy ofTrade-Alert
A stronger U.S. dollar weighed on oil prices today, as did concerns over whether non-Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) members, such as Iraq, will implement expected production cuts. In addition, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) hiked its expectations for both oil prices and U.S. crude production for 2017. For the day, crude oil for February delivery slipped $1.14, or 2.2%, to $50.82 per barrel -- the lowest close in over a month.
After a choppy session, February-dated gold finished at a fresh six-week high of $1,185.50 an ounce -- up 60 cents, or roughly 0.05%, for the day. Ultimately boosting the malleable metal was uncertainty ahead of tomorrow's news conference from President-elect Trump.
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