Dow Jones Industrial Average Skyrockets; 'Fear Gauge' Erases Weekly Gain

American Express Company (AXP) and General Electric Company (GE) are leading the blue chips higher

Oct 17, 2014 at 1:04 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) has explored a near 750-point range this week, but is poised to snap its six-session losing streak today. In early afternoon action, the blue-chip barometer is 302 points, or 1.9%, higher at 16,419.46 -- and is on pace for its best session of the year -- with help from a stellar earnings report from General Electric Company (NYSE:GE). In fact, all 30 Dow components are in the black right now, led by a 4.4% gain for American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) after its own quarterly earnings results. Outside of the earnings confessional, Wall Street is cheering an upbeat report on new-home construction, an unexpected surge in consumer confidence, and a rebound in crude oil prices, while digesting the latest comments from Fed Chair Janet Yellen.

Elsewhere, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) has added 30.5 points, or 1.6%, while the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) has rebounded 64.6 points, or 1.5%, looking to erase its weekly deficit. As traders adopt a risk-on attitude, the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) has dropped 4.5 points, or 17.7%, negating its week-to-date gains. The market's "fear gauge" has explored a range of more than 10 points this week, and tagged a fresh two-year high of 31.06 on Wednesday.

On the New York Stock Exchange, 828 equities are trading lower, compared to 2,206 advancing, resulting in an advance/decline ratio of 2.66. Likewise, 34 stocks have tagged new annual highs, compared to 11 in annual-low terrain. ITT Educational Services, Inc. (NYSE:ESI) is the top performer on the Big Board, up 86% at $10.38, after reporting encouraging enrollment figures.

It's a similar setup on the Nasdaq, with 1,524 stocks trading higher, compared to 973 in the red, resulting in an advance/decline ratio of 1.56. Twenty-three securities have notched new highs, compared to 22 exploring new lows. The best performer on the index so far is Westmoreland Coal Company (NASDAQ:WLB), which has added 21.7% to flirt with $37.30, as traders applaud M&A news.


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