Stocks Rally As JPMorgan Boosts Dow; Will Bitcoin Take Out $18K?

A pen notebook and calculator laying on top of sheets of paper Credit: Shutterstock photo

Stocks rose Friday as JPMorgan ( JPM ) boosted the Dow Jones industrial average and Bitcoin approached the $18K level ahead of another futures launch.

[ibd-display-video id=3012111 width=50 float=left autostart=true] SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ) led with a 0.6% gain, while SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ( DIA ) and PowerShares QQQ Trust ( QQQ ) rose 0.5% each. Small caps outperformed as iShares Core S&P Small-Cap ( IJR ) rallied 1.2% and iShares Russell 2000 (IWM) added 1%.

Among sector funds in the stock market today , banks, retail and consumer staples were among the biggest gainers. JPMorgan, up 1.6%, was the Dow's top advancer. Telecom was one of the few sectors showing losses.

Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC) leapt 6%, on track for a new record high close, which would extend its win streak for a fifth straight session. On Thursday, GBTC fell intraday but closed with a small gain. The price of Bitcoin neared $18,000 earlier and was recently trading at $17,543.54, according to CoinDesk .

The cryptocurrency spiked near the $18K level ahead of CME Group's (CME) Bitcoin futures launch , scheduled for Monday.

Chance To Buy?

A highflying defense ETF headed by the likes of Boeing (BA), United Technologies (UTX) and Lockheed Martin (LMT) is still in buy range from a recent breakout.

IShares U.S. Aerospace & Defense (ITA) cleared a 184.70 buy point of a flat base in late November but pulled back shortly thereafter. It found support at the 50-day moving average and is now back above the entry.

The ETF soared 15% from a July flat-base breakout to its Oct. 23 high, which kicked off the most recent pattern. ITA was featured in the Dec. 4 ETF Leaders column as well as the Nov. 14 ETF column .

The 11-year-old fund, which tracks the Dow Jones U.S. Select Aerospace and Defense Index, has amassed $4.8 billion in assets. The top five holdings, which include the three mentioned above plus Northrop Grumman (NOC) and Raytheon (RTN), accounted for 39% of the 38-stock portfolio as of Dec. 13. The eight smallest holdings made up less than 1% each.

ITA has outperformed the broader market with a year-to-date gain of 32.7% through Dec. 13, according to Morningstar Direct. The S&P 500 returned 21.3%. The ETF has also outperformed over the longer haul.

It's posted average annual returns of 20.5%, 24.1% and 11.8% over the past three, five and 10 years, respectively, vs. 12.3%, 15.8% and 8.3% for the S&P 500 over the same periods.

IBD'S TAKE:Read IBD's The Big Picture column each day to stay on top of the market direction, a key indicator that lets you know when you can be aggressive and when you should move to the sidelines.

ITA carries a 0.44% expense ratio.

Thursday's pick, PowerShares S&P Small Cap Low Volatility (XSLV), slipped below its 50-day as it tries to hang on to support at the line.


JPMorgan, Goldman Lead Dow Higher; Bitcoin Taking A Breather?

Apple, Caterpillar Fuel Dow To Record; Bitcoin Euphoria Fading?

Wars, Jetliner Buying Spree Extends This ETF's Advance

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

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

More Related Articles

Info icon

This data feed is not available at this time.

Sign up for Smart Investing to get the latest news, strategies and tips to help you invest smarter.