"After a pretty lackluster start to the month of December, the major indexes picked up some momentum early today, and small-cap stocks led the way," observed Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell, CMT. "There wasn't a whole lot of big news out this morning, but many participants continue to keep an eye on whether the Senate will pass the new budget deal." As Wall Street awaits this week's Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting -- and amid a mixed bag of economic reports -- the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) finished the day with a triple-digit advance.
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 15,884.57) surged right out of the gate, tagging an intraday high of 15,930.31 within the first 30 minutes of trading. By the end, the blue-chip index was up 129.2 points, or 0.8%. The Dow's 26 advancers were led by International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) -- which gained 2.9% -- while a 0.8% drop for The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG) paced the three decliners. Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) remained unchanged.
The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,786.54) also spiked higher at the sound of the opening bell, and finished 11.2 points, or 0.6%, higher. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,029.52) added 28.5 points, or 0.7%, for the session.
Elsewhere, the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 16.03) faltered early in the session, but gained traction throughout the day to close 0.3 point, or 1.7%, higher.
A Trader's Take:
"With a lot of people attributing the past two weeks to profit taking, perhaps we have set the stage for a Santa Claus rally once again," opined Bell. "Historically, the last couple of weeks in December have been incredibly strong, and the nice bounce today could be the start of that trend once again."
3 Things to Know About Today's Market:
5 Stocks We Were Watching Today:
For a look at today's options movers and commodities activity, head to page 2.
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