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Dow Jones Industrial Average Advances as Putin Softens Tone

The DJI rose as tensions eased between Ukraine and Russia

by 8/14/2014 4:23:32 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) gained ground today, with traders shrugging off a post-earnings slide from Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) and a steeper-than-forecast rise in first-time jobless claims. Instead, buyers were encouraged by surprisingly diplomatic remarks from Russian President Vladimir Putin. "We need to consolidate and mobilize but not for war or any kind of confrontation," said Putin, speaking in Crimea. "... [W]e do not intend, like some people, to dash around the world with a razor blade and wave that blade around." With hopes on the rise for a calmer geopolitical atmosphere, the major market indexes climbed modestly higher.

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

  • Short-term speculators zeroed in on Plug Power Inc (NASDAQ:PLUG) amid the stock's post-earnings rally.
  • Call buyers are banking on new multi-year highs for Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT).
  • Even if your timing is impeccable, volatility bets can backfire. Schaeffer's contributor Adam Warner explains how.
  • Plus ... President Obama weighs in on conflicts at home and abroad, Tesla wins over another analyst, and OmniVision attracts a suitor.
Trading Topic of the Week -- Tips for Short-Term Trading: Select your option carefully. Consider your risk appetite and forecast for the stock when choosing a strike and expiration date, since there's no room for error when your trading time frame can be measured in hours.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 16,713.58) closed up 61.8 points, or 0.4%, as 23 of its 30 components ended higher -- led by 1.8% gains for Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) and The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA). Meanwhile, Cisco paced the six decliners with a 2.6% drop, and Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) finished flat. Today marked the Dow's highest close since July 30.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,955.18) advanced 8.5 points, or 0.4%, and joined the Dow in hitting its highest daily close of the month. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,453.00) added 18.9 points, or 0.4%, to join its counterparts at a fresh August high.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 12.42) fell 0.5 point, or 3.7%. The VIX settled at its lowest level since July 24.

CLOSING SUMMARY  INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY  NYSE AND NASDAQ

5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. In a speech delivered today from Martha's Vineyard, President Obama heralded the progress made so far in Iraq, saying, "We are modestly hopeful that the Iraqi government situation is moving in the right direction." However, Obama added that airstrikes against ISIS militants and humanitarian aid efforts will continue. The president also commented on the civil unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, where the Department of Justice has launched an investigation into last weekend's shooting death of teenager Michael Brown. Obama noted there was no excuse for looting, and added, "there's also no excuse for police to use excessive force against peaceful protests, or to throw protesters in jail for lawfully exercising their First Amendment rights." (USA Today)
  2. St. Louis Fed President James Bullard voiced his support for an interest rate hike by March 2015, which he described as his "preferred liftoff date" in a Wall Street Journal interview. By contrast, Fed Chair Janet Yellen and the other members of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) have indicated a rate increase is more likely to take place in the third or fourth quarter of 2015. (MarketWatch)
  3. Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) continued to win over analysts with its record-setting run.
  4. A buyout bid for OmniVision Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:OVTI) inspired a neutral-to-bullish spread player.
  5. After today's post-earnings sell-off, Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc. (NASDAQ:RRGB) could be at risk of downgrades.
EARNINGS

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

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