The bullish stars aligned today, as traders applauded solid big-cap earnings and a plethora of encouraging economic reports. Specifically, Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) notched new highs after stepping into the earnings confessional, and Wall Street cheered stronger-than-expected reports on housing, manufacturing, and jobless claims. Against this backdrop -- and ahead of Fed Chair Janet Yellen's highly anticipated speech from Jackson Hole, Wyoming, tomorrow -- the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) ended north of 17,000 for the first time since July 24, and the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (COMP) assailed new heights.
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 17,039.49) was up as much as 95 points at its intraday peak, but trimmed its lead to 60.4 points, or 0.4%, by the close. Twenty-five of the Dow's 30 components landed north of breakeven, with Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) leading the advancers with a 1.9% gain. Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) led the laggards with a 1.1% dip.
The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,992.37) added 5.9 points, or 0.3%, to secure a record closing high. Earlier in the session, the broad-market barometer peaked at 1,994.76. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,532.10) extended its streak of new 14-year highs, topping out at 4,534 in intraday trading before settling with a gain of 5.6 points, or 0.1%.
After an initial jump to 13.51 in early trading, the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 11.76) erased its lead to end 0.02 point, or 0.2%, lower.
5 Items on Our Radar Today:
For a look at today's options movers and commodities activity, head to page 2.
The Case for Big Moves in IWM and QQQ
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