"There were a number of weak reports out of China and Europe ahead of the opening bell, which put an early damper on the market," reported Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell, CMT. "But despite the quiet start, the market slowly churned higher throughout the day, and the upward momentum of the past few weeks continued. The jobless claims and consumer price index (CPI) data were both released this morning, as well, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) and major sectors extended their gains throughout the session."
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 16,133.23) motored higher for most of the session, closing up 92.7 points, or 0.6%. Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) again led the pack, up 3.4% to pace the two dozen advancers. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) suffered a 1.8% post-earnings plunge, finishing last of the Dow's 30 components.
The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,839.78) stretched within 8 points of its record intraday high, but settled for a gain of 11 points, or 0.6%. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,267.54) gained ground, adding 29.6 points, or 0.7%.
The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 14.79) recoiled after yesterday's bounce higher, giving back 0.7 point, or 4.6%, to slip back south of the 15 level.
A Trader's Take:
"Small-cap stocks once again took a leadership role and are right back up near their all-time highs," Bell continued. "The big news today was Facebook acquiring WhatsApp for $19 billion. There has been a lot of discussion about what this means for Facebook going forward, but it's just another example of companies utilizing their cash to go out and acquire companies."
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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