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Dow Jones Industrial Average Powers Higher Amid M&A News; S&P 500 Hits 2,000

The SPX broke north of the 2,000 mark for the first time ever

by 8/25/2014 4:23:06 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) flirted with triple-digit gains for most of the day, as European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi's dovish comments from last Friday -- combined with several M&A-related headlines -- strengthened investor confidence. By day's end, the Dow was solidly above the critical 17,000 level, and within striking distance of 17,100. Making even more headlines, however, was the S&P 500 Index's (SPX) foray into territory north of 2,000 -- a first for the SPX -- which had several analysts already predicting additional gains.

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

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 17,076.87) rallied 75.7 points, or 0.4%, as 24 out of 30 components finished higher. Leading the way was JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM), which ended with a 1.5% lead. Meanwhile, Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) paced the six losers, down 0.4%.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,997.92) finished the day just shy of 2,000 -- despite toppling the elusive mark for the first time in history, with an intraday high of 2,001.95 -- but still managed to tack on 9.5 points, or 0.5%, for the session. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,557.35) added 18.8 points, or 0.4%, and hit yet another 14-year high of 4,571.14.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 11.70) also ended higher, but finished below 12 for the fourth consecutive session. By the close, the market's "fear gauge" was up 0.2 point, or 2.0%.

CLOSING SUMMARY – INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY – NYSE AND NASDAQ

5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. The Commerce Department reported weaker-than-expected new home sales numbers for July. Specifically, sales of recently constructed single-family houses dropped 2.4% to a 412,000-unit annualized pace -- the lowest level since March. (Reuters, via CNBC)
  2. AMZN agreed to pay upwards of $1 billion to buy live-streaming video game issue Twitch Interactive, according to inside sources. It was originally expected that Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) would buy the online gaming forum, which boasts 45 million active users per month, but talks between the two recently cooled. (The Seattle Times)
  3. In other M&A news, Burger King Worldwide Inc (NYSE:BKW) soared as rumblings of a Tim Hortons Inc. (USA) (NYSE:THI) buyout grew, prompting options traders to gamble on additional gains.
  4. One speculator shelled out close to $1 million to buy Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C) calls, expecting shares of the banking giant to muscle higher.
  5. INTC puts were bought and sold, as traders expressed a split opinion on the semiconductor stock.
EARNINGS

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

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