Stocks powered higher today, with a well-received earnings report from Alcoa Inc (NYSE:AA) setting the bullish tone. Along the way, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) launched another assault on the 17,000 level -- but ultimately backed down from its latest test of this millennium mark. Meanwhile, a fresh dose of clarity from the Fed on its policy-tightening plans caused a minor hiccup in the market's momentum around 2 p.m. ET, but bulls quickly reclaimed the reins. By the time the dust settled, the Dow's two-day skid was definitely over.
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 16,985.61) peaked at 16,998.95 this afternoon, but ultimately settled on a slimmer gain of about 79 points, or 0.5%. Twenty-two of the Dow's 30 components closed higher, with a 1.6% gain for The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) leading the way. The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) was unchanged at the close, while DuPont (NYSE:DD) fell 0.4% to pace the seven laggards.
The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,972.83) rose 9.1 points, or 0.5%, and ended less than 2 points away from its session high. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,419.03) also finished strong, advancing 27.6 points, or 0.6%.
The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 11.65) backpedaled as stocks bounced, losing 0.3 point, or 2.8%. As a result, the VIX ended back below its 40-day moving average.
5 Items on Our Radar Today:
For a look at today's options movers and commodities activity, head to page 2.
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