"After a lot of big news over the last several days, and all of the Washington drama that unfolded, we had a relatively quiet end to the week," mused Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell, CMT. "Taking a step back from all the headlines and the political circus, the uptrend remains in place, with small-caps and technology stocks continuing to lead, and many sectors reaching new all-time highs." Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) finished modestly higher, while the S&P 500 Index (SPX) enjoyed a second day of record-high price action.
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 15,399.65) experienced a bit of a rollercoaster ride this morning, but stayed in positive territory during the afternoon hours of trading. By the close, the blue-chip barometer was up 28 points, or 0.2%. For the week, the index added 1.1%. General Electric (NYSE:GE) led the Dow's 19 advancers with a gain of 3.5% after its earnings release, while UnitedHealth Group's (NYSE:UNH) 3.7% drop paced the 11 laggards.
The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,744.50) spiked out of the gate, and touched a record intraday peak of 1,745.31 just before 3:00 p.m. ET. For the session, the SPX advanced 11.4 points, or 0.7% -- notching another all-time closing high. Likewise, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 3,914.28) finished 51.1 points, or 1.3%, higher, reaching yet another 13-year intraday acme of 3,914.93. On a weekly basis, the indexes climbed 2.4% and 3.2%, respectively.
Elsewhere, the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 13.04) continued to sputter, sinking to a session low of 12.34 near midday. Although the "fear gauge" managed to ease its losses in the afternoon hours, it still finished 0.4 point, or 3.3%, lower -- marking its lowest close in nearly a month. Week-over-week, the VIX shed 17%.
A Trader's Take:
"Earnings season is starting to get the attention it deserves, and today it was all about Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) and its positive effect on the technology sector," continued Bell. "Financials and health care stocks also performed well, as Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) released a well-received earnings report."
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