"2013 is clearly off to a good start," exclaimed Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell, who added, "pretty much each and every sector across the board was in the green." A collective sigh of relief among fiscal-cliff watchers was expressed by a rush in buying demand that sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) up more than 300 points by the close.
Continue reading for more on today's market, including:
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) traded solidly higher on the day, ending pennies away from its intraday peak with a gain of 308 points, or 2.4%. The index eased back above its 10-day moving average for its highest finish since Oct. 18. All 30 Dow names closed in the black, led by Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ), which gained 5.4%. At the back of the pack was UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH), ending up 0.6%.
Also turning in an impressive show of strength was the S&P 500 Index (SPX), which gained 36 points, or 2.5%. The tech sector didn't disappoint, as the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) outperformed its index brethren, surging almost 93 points, or 3.1%.
The CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX) continued its sharp descent, shedding 3.3 points, or 18.5%, to touch its lowest close since early October.
A Trader's Take:
"Today it was clearly all about the deal reached in Washington to avoid the dreaded fiscal cliff," remarked Bell. "While short-term concerns were squashed by Congress, fourth-quarter earnings are right around the corner and the debate and deadline for spending cuts will be fast approaching," he cautioned. "Many are evaluating just how effective this plan will be, but there is no argument that the initial market reaction was positive," Bell concluded.
3 Things to Know About Today's Market:
Plus ... while the participants in the Big Game remain anybody's guess, CBS Corporation (NYSE:CBS) has nearly sold all of its available ad time. As of this morning, the network only had two 30-second slots left to fill, despite the record price tag of up to $3.8 million per spot.
Today's Top Tweet:
"Don't listen to anyone (including me). Trade ur plan & do what works for u. If u don't have a plan, develop one that fits YOUR personality."
@jfahmy, (Joseph Fahmy), 12:11 p.m.
5 Stocks We Were Watching Today:
Question of the Day:
Q: What were the worst-performing stocks in 2012?
A: This week's edition of Monday Morning Outlook also revealed the stocks posting the biggest losses in 2012, courtesy of Senior Quantitative Analyst Rocky White. All stocks included in the study were trading above $5 at the beginning of the year with average daily volume of at least 1 million shares. The goat of the market was NII Holdings (NASDAQ:NIHD), which lost 66%, according to Rocky's research through Dec. 28. Apollo Group (NASDAQ:APOL) ranked second-worst, with a drop of 62%. Other notable underperformers included Molycorp (NYSE:MCP) and Diamond Foods (NASDAQ:DMND), losing 61% and 58%, respectively.
For a look at today's options movers and commodities activity, head to page 2.
Why OIH Is Finding Key Support at $52
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