"Some optimism that a U.S.-lead strike on Syria is on hold brought more buyers out today," noted Schaeffer's Senior Technical Strategist Ryan Detrick, CMT. "It was nice to see that the big reversal on Friday found some buyers. The news and headlines are scary, but we continue to see leadership from small-caps." This easing anxiety, combined with the release of upbeat data out of China, propelled the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) 140.6 points higher for the day.
Continue reading for more on today's market, including:
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 15,063.12) climbed higher right out of the gate, and touched an intraday high of 15,088.41 during the afternoon hours. By the end of the session, the blue-chip index was up 140.6 points, or 0.9% -- closing above its 20-day moving average for the first time since Aug. 5 and north of 15,000 for the first time in more than two weeks. Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) led the Dow's 29 advancers with a gain of 2.6%, while Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) -- the sole laggard -- shed 0.9%.
The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,671.71) also charged northward early on in the session, and finished 16.5 points, or 1%, higher. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 3,706.18) surged 46.2 points, or 1.3%.
The CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 15.63) spent a portion of the morning in positive territory, but reversed course to tag an intraday low of 15.22 later in the day. By the closing bell, the "fear barometer" was 0.2 point, or 1.4%, lower.
A Trader's Take:
"Last Friday morning is looking like the big flush we were hoping for," continued Detrick. "Fear spiked, and then the buyers stepped up and continued to push things higher today. Overall, the U.S. economy continues to improve, and even China is reporting strong economic data -- sparking buying in the economically sensitive materials group. Lastly, housing has done very poorly over the past few months, but the sector had a huge day today. If housing can find its footing, it could be a key sign that this September rally may continue to surprise and move higher."
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For a look at today's options movers and commodities activity, head to page 2.
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