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Markets

Dow Secures Triple-Digit Gain as Employment Data Looms

"The best thing about today's market was the fact that the major indexes rebounded, snapping three days of consecutive losses in the S&P 500 Index (SPX)," noted Schaeffer's Senior Options Strategist Tony Venosa, CMT. "The technology sector drove today's action, as high-momentum solar and disk-drive names outperformed." Meanwhile, investor optimism ahead of this week's employment data helped lead the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) to a triple-digit advance.

Continue reading for more on today's market, including

plus...

    The trade gap narrowed in November, Janet Yellen was confirmed as the next chair of the Federal Reserve, and Netflix, Inc. ( NFLX ) faltered on some negative analyst attention.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 16,530.94) shot higher out of the gate -- and remained in the green for the entire day -- before finishing 105.8 points, or 0.6%, higher. The blue-chip bellwether's 24 advancers were led by UnitedHealth Group Inc.'s ( UNH ) 3.1% gain, while JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) paced the six laggards with a drop of 1.2%.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,837.88) also spent the day north of breakeven, and tacked on 11.1 points, or 0.6%, by the closing bell. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,153.18) advanced 39.5 points, or 1%.

Elsewhere, the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 12.92) stumbled at the start of the session, and ended 0.6 point, or 4.7%, lower on the day.

5 Items on Our Radar Today

  1. The Commerce Department said the U.S. trade deficit unexpectedly contracted by 12.9% to $34.3 billion in November, marking the narrowest gap since October 2009. The latest figure was largely due to a 0.9% rise in exports, reaching the highest level ever recorded. (Reuters)
  2. After a 56-26 vote last night, Janet Yellen became the first woman confirmed to lead the Federal Reserve . The former vice chair will take the reins from Ben Bernanke -- the current chair of the central bank -- at the end of January. (CNNMoney)
  3. Netflix, Inc. ( NFLX ) took a bit of a tumble, after the stock received a bearish brokerage note in pre-market action.
  4. Bearish speculators predicted continued losses for J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (JCP) through the end of the week.
  5. NVIDIA Corporation (NVDA) continued to rise amid buzz surrounding a new graphics chip, and attracted a crop of longer-term bulls.

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

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Commodities

Crude futures edged higher for the first time this year, amid expectations for another weekly decline in oil inventories. By the time the dust settled, the February contract had added 24 cents, or 0.3%, to end at $93.67 per barrel.

Meanwhile, a stronger dollar dragged gold futures south, with February-dated gold shedding $8.40, or 0.7%, to close at $1,229.60 an ounce.

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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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