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Dow Fights Higher Into the Close

Gold spikes to a two-month high as Iraq-related concerns accelerate

by 6/19/2014 4:19:45 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:

Following a Fed-related surge higher, U.S. stocks exhibited choppy trading today, as investors refocused their attention back on the escalating tension in Iraq. President Barack Obama pledged to send assistance in the form of military advisers, and the commodities market responded in kind. Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) spent time on both sides of the flat line and closed marginally higher, and the S&P 500 Index (SPX) once again put new intraday and closing highs in the books.

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

  • How wireless carrier T-Mobile US Inc (NYSE:TMUS) once again upped the stakes in its push to attract more customers.
  • BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) had another big day on the charts ... and it wasn't lost on short-term option bulls.
  • This legendary motorcycle name grabbed headlines by going green.
  • Plus ... Manufacturing activity surges in the mid-Atlantic, BBRY surprises Wall Street, and Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX) secures a vote of confidence.
Trading Topic of the Week -- Reasons to Dodge Directional Risk: Capitalize on expected volatility spikes. There are several technical and sentiment indicators that can tell you whether a stock is on the verge of some major volatility -- including Bollinger Bands and high levels of short interest.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 16,921.46) bottomed out at 16,858.88 in the early afternoon, but fought higher into the close, ending with a gain of 14.8 points, or 0.1%. UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE:UNH) rose 1.6% to pace the Dow's 17 advancers, while JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) and Nike Inc (NYSE:NKE) each slipped 0.8% to bring up the rear.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,959.48) continued its trek into previously unexplored territory, rising 2.5 points or 0.1%, and hitting a new intraday high of 1,959.87. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,359.33) slightly underperformed its index peers, shedding 3.5 points, or 0.1%, on the day.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 10.62) tagged another fresh seven-year low of 10.42 but closed in the black, up 0.1 point or 0.1%.

CLOSING SUMMARY – INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY – NYSE AND NASDAQ

5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. The Philadelphia Fed said its business activity index rose to 17.8 this month from 15.4 in May. The reading was north of economists' expectations, indicating a faster-than-expected pace of manufacturing growth across the mid-Atlantic region. Separately, the Conference Board said its index of leading indicators increased 0.5% in May, falling just shy of estimates. What's more, April's reading was revised 10 basis points lower to reflect a 0.3% increase. (Reuters, via CNBC)
  2. The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits dipped by 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 312,000 during the week ended June 14, the Labor Department noted. Economists were predicting a slightly smaller pullback to 314,000. Smoothing the data out to eliminate weekly noise, the four-week moving average reflected a decline of 3,750 to 311,750. (FOX Business)
  3. BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) issued a stronger-than-expected fiscal first-quarter earnings report. Revenue declined just 1% from the previous quarter -- an improvement compared to recent reporting periods -- and the stock rallied nearly 10% on the day in response. (The New York Times)
  4. UBS analysts have faith in Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX), despite the stock's uninspiring price action this year.
  5. Option bears bet against Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) today, even as the stock tagged a new record high.
EARNINGS

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

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