Stocks started out this morning on a less-than-stellar note, but the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) broke into positive territory in the final hours of the trading day, after Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart said the central bank should maintain record-low interest rates through mid-2015. Plus, with concerns over Portugal's banking system alleviated by a reassuring statement from Banco Espirito Santo, traders in the U.S. followed the cautiously optimistic lead of their European counterparts. As a result, the major equity indexes pared their weekly losses, and wrapped up the session on a resilient note.
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 16,943.81) edged up 28.7 points, or 0.2%, after exploring an 89-point range on both sides of breakeven. Once again, Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) led the day's advance with a 1.4% gain, but General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) was right behind with a 1.3% rise. Nineteen Dow members ended higher, while Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX) paced the 11 falling blue chips with a 1.4% pullback. For the week, the Dow gave back 0.7%.
The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,967.57) crept to a gain of 2.9 points, or 0.2%, and ended the week on a loss of 0.9%. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,415.49) fared the best today, tacking on 19.3 points, or 0.4%. However, on a weekly basis, the COMP swallowed the steepest drop of 1.6%.
The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 12.08) wrapped up the session on a deficit of 0.5 point, or 4.1%. For the week, the "fear index" still managed to jump 17.1%.
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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