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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) moved slightly higher, despite rising concerns about a terrorist attack in the U.K. and strong words from Russian President Vladimir Putin. For the month, the Dow posted a 3.2% gain. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) muscled back atop the 2,000 level, and finished with its best August performance in 14 years, up 3.8%. However, on a percentage basis, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) topped both of its peers with a monthly gain of 4.8%, benefiting today from Tesla Motors Inc's (NASDAQ:TSLA) record high.

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

  • TSLA hit a fresh record high, luring eleventh-hour bulls to the options pits.
  • Fellow automaker Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) also saw an influx of call buyers, with the company due to report August sales numbers early next week.
  • Wall Street weighed in on Splunk Inc (NASDAQ:SPLK), following the release of its second-quarter earnings report.
  • Plus ... Terrorist fears in Britain, Putin taunts the West, and GoPro Inc (NASDAQ:GPRO) continues to surge.
Trading Topic of the Week -- Tips to Trade Like the Pros: Manage your money carefully. Don't be careless with your cash -- keep an eye on those allocations, and know your exit plan before you enter.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 17,098.45) mounted a late-day rally to finish above breakeven, edging 18.9 points, or 0.1%, higher -- but fell just shy of the 17,100 level. Twenty of the blue-chip index's 30 components posted gains, led by Microsoft Corporation's (NASDAQ:MSFT) 1.2% advance. Among the index's 10 losers, United Technologies Corporation (NYSE:UTX) and Visa Inc (NYSE:V) fared the worst, giving back 1% each. For the week and month, the DJI added 0.6% and 3.2%, respectively.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,003.37) tacked on 6.6 points, or 0.3%, to muscle back atop 2,000. For the week, the index added 0.8%, and for the month, it rose 3.8%. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,580.27) bested both the DJI and SPX on Friday, tacking on 22.6 points, or 0.5%. For the week and month, the COMP added 0.9% and 4.8%, respectively.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 11.98) finished lower, giving up its foothold atop the 12 mark with a 0.07 point, or 0.6%, loss. On the week, the market's "fear gauge" added 4.4%, but for all of August, it lost 29.3%.

CLOSING SUMMARY  INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY  NYSE AND NASDAQ

5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. Concerns are growing that the U.K. may soon face a terrorist attack, as Britain raised the nation's threat level to "severe" -- meaning an attack is highly likely, though not yet imminent. Prime Minister David Cameron promised the introduction of new laws to combat "a greater threat to our security than we have seen before." (The New York Times)
  2. Russian President Vladimir Putin slammed Ukrainian officials,comparing them to Nazis. He also declared, "It's best not to mess with us .... I want to remind you that Russia is one of the leading nuclear powers." (The Telegraph)
  3. Stateside, personal income rose less than expected last month, while consumer spending unexpectedly fell -- likely impacted negatively by unseasonably cool temperatures, which kept utility costs lower. On the other hand, consumer sentiment rose to higher-than-anticipated levels "due to a positive reassessment of prospects for the national economy." (USA Today; FOX News)
  4. This restaurant chain's big post-earnings sell-off likely had short sellers cheering.
  5. GPRO reached a record peak, catching the attention of optimistic options traders.
EARNINGS

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

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