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Dow Jones Industrial Average Ends Quietly Higher

The DJI inched higher as overseas turmoil calmed down

by 8/11/2014 4:18:46 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) edged higher in a low-volume session today, with traders treading lightly as conflicts overseas temporarily cooled. In Gaza, Israel and Hamas agreed to another 72-hour cease-fire, while Russia concluded military exercises near the Ukrainian border. With no major economic or earnings reports on the domestic docket, investors mostly took their cues from abroad, where stocks in Asia and Europe settled comfortably higher.

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

  • CEO Richard Kinder ended the day about $656 million richer after announcing a deal to form "the largest energy infrastructure company in North America."
  • Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) rallied 4.5% today, thanks to yet another bullish brokerage note.
  • With so much geopolitical turmoil going on, is the VIX "too low" at current levels? Schaeffer's contributor Adam Warner explains.
  • Plus ... Putin offers either an olive branch or a Trojan horse, the USPS stays submerged in red ink, and high hopes for an Ebola treatment prop up a drug stock.
Trading Topic of the Week -- Tips for Short-Term Trading: Target stocks poised for a big move. To reap big returns with a short-term trade, you need to single out stocks that make dramatic moves on a regular basis. Historical volatility and Bollinger Bands can offer important clues.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 16,569.98) finished a sleepy session on a gain of 16.1 points, or 0.1%. Exactly half of the Dow's 30 components closed higher, led by a 1.3% advance for Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC). Meanwhile, American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) shed 0.6% to pace the 12 laggards, and three other blue chips closed flat.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,936.92) climbed 5.3 points, or 0.3%. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,401.33) managed the day's biggest jump, tacking on 30.4 points, or 0.7%.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 14.23) fell as far south as 13.72, but pared its losses to end on a drop of 1.5 points, or 9.8%. As a result, the VIX settled beneath its 10-day moving average for the first time since July 24.

CLOSING SUMMARY – INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY – NYSE AND NASDAQ

5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. Russian President Vladimir Putin said today his country will be sending an aid convoy to eastern Ukraine, "in collaboration with representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross," per a Kremlin statement. Not all members of the global community are convinced by Putin's apparent act of goodwill, including European Commission (EC) President Jose Manuel Barroso. In a phone call to Putin, Barroso "warned against any unilateral military actions in Ukraine, under any pretext, including humanitarian," according to an EC statement. Russia is said to have roughly 45,000 troops along the Ukrainian border. (Reuters)
  2. The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) swallowed a nearly $2 billion loss in its fiscal third quarter, as a 9.2% increase in operating expenses outweighed a 2% revenue rise. Additionally, the USPS said it won't be able to make a required $5.7 billion prefunding payment for retiree health benefits by the due date of Sept. 30. (MarketWatch)
  3. High hopes for the company's experimental Ebola drug continued to propel Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corporation (NASDAQ:TKMR) higher.
  4. Despite the stock's history of outperformance, GT Advanced Technologies Inc (NASDAQ:GTAT) was targeted by long-term put buyers.
  5. Call buyers eyed the $35 level for AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T).
EARNINGS

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

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