Another Day, Another Record for the Dow, S&P 500

Encouraging jobless claims report buoys markets

by 12/26/2013 4:20:34 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:

"The strong holiday momentum continued after a brief break for Christmas," noted Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell, CMT. "There wasn't much economic data to report, but we are in the midst of what has become known as the 'Santa Claus' rally, and the price action so far seems to fall right in line with what we've historically experienced during this time frame." As a result, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI), S&P 500 Index (SPX), and Nasdaq Composite (COMP) all experienced another record-setting session.

Continue reading for more on today's market, including:

plus...
    Weekly jobless claims fell more than expected, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) gave away free stuff, and front-month option bulls pounced on Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR).

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 16,479.88) climbed higher throughout the session, tagging a record intraday peak of 16,483.00 shortly before the close. By the end, the Dow was up 122.3 points, or 0.8% -- reaching another all-time closing high (its 50th in 2013). The blue-chip index's 29 advancers were led by Exxon Mobil Corporation's (NYSE:XOM) 1.7% gain, while JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) -- the lone laggard -- fell 0.1%.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,842.02) reached its own all-time intraday peak of 1,842.84, and finished with a gain of 8.7 points, or 0.5% -- securing a record closing high. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,167.18) touched a 13-year intraday high of 4,169.97, and added 11.8 points, or 0.3%, for the session.

Elsewhere, the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 12.33) sank to an intraday low of 11.69, and shaved off 0.2 point, or 1.2%, on the day -- its lowest close since Nov. 22.

CLOSING SUMMARY  INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY  NYSE AND NASDAQ

A Trader's Take:

"The day after Christmas is always great," Bell continued. "Going back to 1950, December 26 has been positive more than any other day during the year. I guess everyone is in a good mood from the holiday and looking forward to the new year, because traditionally, it's just a bad day to be short the market, and today was no exception."

5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. The Labor Department said initial jobless claims fell by a larger-than-expected 42,000 last week to 338,000 -- marking the biggest decline in over a year. However, the four-week moving average of first-time filings climbed by 4,250 to 348,000. (MarketWatch)
  2. One speculator upped his bullish stance on eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY) by rolling his previous call position to a later date and higher strike.
  3. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) -- which has gained ground during the latter half of 2013 -- kicked off its "12 Days of Gifts" program.
  4. Recent technical struggles for Applied Materials, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMAT) haven't deterred option bulls from converging on the stock.
  5. Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) saw a rush of bullish betting, with options players largely targeting the stock's front-month calls.

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

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