Blue-Chip Earnings Fuel Dow Jones Industrial Average 263 Points Higher

Wall Street applauded General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) and American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) earnings

by Andrea Kramer

Published on Oct 17, 2014 at 4:21 PM
Updated on Jun 24, 2020 at 10:16 AM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) shot higher out of the gate today, never looking back. Stronger-than-expected earnings reports from General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) and American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) bolstered the blue chips into the black, and some upbeat reports on housing starts and consumer sentiment were icing on the cake. Against this backdrop, the Dow spent a healthy portion of the day flirting with 300-point gains, ultimately snapping its losing streak and notching its second-best session of 2014.

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 16,380.41) finished with a gain of 263.2 points, or 1.63% -- its second-best session (in percentage terms) of 2014. All 30 blue chips ended in the black, led by a 3.3% gain from UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE:UNH). Despite today's rebound, however, the Dow ended the week 1% lower.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,886.76) also spent the session comfortably higher, tacking on 24 points, or 1.3%, but extended its weekly losing streak to four -- the longest since 2011 -- surrendering 1%. Likewise, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,258.44) rallied 41.1 points, or nearly 1%, but settled with a weekly loss of 0.4%.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 21.99) gave back 3.2 points, or 12.7%, but secured a weekly win of 3.5%.

CLOSING SUMMARY – INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY – NYSE AND NASDAQ

5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. Under scrutiny for the government's handling of Ebola patients thus far, President Barack Obama will soon name Ron Klain -- former chief of staff for Vice Presidents Joe Biden and Al Gore -- the administration's "Ebola czar," according to reports. (MarketWatch)
  2. Fed Chair Janet Yellen said "income and wealth inequality are near their highest levels in the past hundred years." Ironically, a list published today revealed that more than 100 Fed officials earn more money than Yellen. Separately, Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren said he's not holding his breath for another round of quantitative easing. (CNBC)
  3. How buying call options provides more leverage than buying stock outright.
  4. These eleventh-hour Honeywell International Inc (NYSE:HON) bulls proved prophetic after earnings.
  5. TWTR muscled higher after announcing a new partnership.
EARNINGS

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

STOCKS – NOTABLE CALL ACTIVITY

STOCKS – NOTABLE PUT ACTIVITY

Commodities:

Crude oil eked out a second consecutive win, as upbeat economic data bolstered hopes for demand. Crude for December delivery added 11 cents, or 0.1%, to finish at $82.06 per barrel. For the week, black gold lost 4.4% (when comparing most-active contracts).

Gold futures fell for a second straight session, as a rally in stocks lessened the malleable metal's "safe haven" allure. By the close, December-dated gold dropped $2.20, or 0.1%, to finish at $1,239 an ounce. For the week, however, gold advanced 1.4%.

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