Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 Peak On Post-Fed Momentum

The Dow has touched fresh all-time peaks in three straight sessions

by 9/18/2014 4:21:13 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) continued its ascent today -- hitting a record high for the third straight session, and finishing above the 17,200 level for the first time ever -- as investors cheered the Federal Open Market Committee's (FOMC) decision yesterday to maintain low interest rates for a "considerable time." The S&P 500 Index (SPX) followed suit, topping out at an all-time peak of 2,012.34, and closing above the critical double-millennium mark for a second straight day. Looking ahead, traders are eagerly awaiting Alibaba Group Holding Ltd's (NYSE:BABA) public debut, scheduled for tomorrow.

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

Trading Topic of the Week -- How to Get Started with Options: Check your motives. Never buy an option just because it's "cheap" -- because the higher risk of a 100% loss isn't always such a great bargain.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 17,265.99) ran to a record peak of 17,275.37, before finishing 109.1 points, or 0.6%, higher. By the close, 26 of the Dow's 30 components were in the green, led by E I Du Pont De Nemours And Co (NYSE:DD), which gained 2.8%. Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX) and Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) paced the index's four losers, each off 0.5%.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,011.36) tagged its own all-time high of 2,012.34 -- and ended 9.8 points, or 0.5%, above breakeven -- while the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,593.43) tacked on 31.2 points, or 0.7%.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 12.03) suffered another negative finish -- down 0.6 points, or 4.9% -- but managed to close atop the 12 level.

CLOSING SUMMARY  INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY  NYSE AND NASDAQ

5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. U.S. housing starts slumped by a steeper-than-anticipated 14.4% in August to an annualized pace of 956,000. However, jobless claims fell more than expected last week to 280,000 -- their lowest level since July. (Reuters)
  2. Sanctions imposed by the U.S. and European Union took a toll on Russia's 2015-2017 national budget, which was approved today. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev admitted macroeconomic stability is currently fragile, saying, "This is the first time when work on the federal budget, the three-year budget, took place in such difficult circumstances, when an economic slowdown was exacerbated by the implementation of sanctions." (Reuters)
  3. Amid iPhone and iPad news, call buyers rolled the dice on a short-term rally by AAPL.
  4. Sony Corp (ADR) (NYSE:SNE) continued heading south, and additional losses could be ahead, if Wall Street changes its bullish posture toward the shares.
  5. Sears Holdings Corp (NASDAQ:SHLD) also maintained its negative momentum, bringing long-term option bears to the table.
EARNINGS

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

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