Dow Jones Industrial Average Adds 215 Points, Nasdaq Steals the Show

Hopes for ECB stimulus translated into a positive day for gold

by Andrea Kramer

Published on Oct 21, 2014 at 4:22 PM
Updated on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:32 PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) stair-stepped higher as the session progressed, lifted by data out of China and stimulus chatter in Europe, as well as an upbeat report on U.S. housing. However, it was the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite (COMP) that stole the spotlight today, gapping higher out of the gate on an earnings win from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). By the close, the Dow tacked on 215 points -- and climbed back into the black for 2014 -- the COMP advanced triple digits, and the S&P 500 Index (SPX) clawed atop its closely watched 200-day moving average.

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 16,614.81) blazed a steady path higher throughout the day, eventually settling near an intraday high, up 215.1 points, or 1.3%. The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) led the three blue-chip decliners, surrendering 6% in the wake of a lackluster earnings report. Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) paced the advancing majority, tacking on 3.3%. For the year, the Dow is now sitting on a 0.2% gain.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,941.28) enjoyed its best session of the year, tacking on 37.3 points, or 2%, to end atop its 200-day trendline for the first time since Oct. 10. In its best session of the year, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,419.48) outperformed its peers, gaining 103.4 points, or 2.4%, to end at a session high.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 16.08) took the opposite route, giving up 2.5 points, or 13.4%. The "fear gauge" is now in the red on a month-to-date basis, after exploring two-year highs less than a week ago.

CLOSING SUMMARY – INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY – NYSE AND NASDAQ

5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. Existing home sales rose 2.4% last month, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.17 million, the National Association of Realtors said. The uptick was better than expected, and marked the fastest pace in one year.(MarketWatch)
  2. Outside the U.S., the European Central Bank (ECB) is reportedly mulling a plan to buy corporate bonds by the end of the year, in an effort to prop up the eurozone economy. (Reuters)
  3. How MSFT is contributing to the fight against Ebola.
  4. Airlines rallied, and American Airlines Group Inc (NASDAQ:AAL) option players bet on more post-earnings upside.
  5. Harley-Davidson Inc (NYSE:HOG) flew in the face of the bearish masses in the options pits.
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:

Stronger-than-expected industrial production data out of China bolstered hopes for oil demand. Black gold for December delivery added 58 cents, or 0.7%, to settle at $82.49 per barrel.

Hopes for economic stimulus from the ECB lifted gold futures, with December-dated gold tacking on $7, or 0.6%, to finish at $1,251.70 an ounce.


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