BoJ Decision Boosts Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 to All-Time Highs

Consumer spending and income numbers for September were disappointing

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Oct 31, 2014 at 4:28 PM
Updated on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:32 PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) got an unexpected lift today from the Bank of Japan (BoJ) -- which decided to expand its stimulus plan -- and another round of mostly encouraging earnings reports. In fact, just before midday, the blue-chip index notched an all-time intraday high of 17,395.54, and settled with a roughly 195-point gain for its loftiest close on record. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) reclaimed its perch atop the 2,000 level to end with its own daily closing high. However, on a percentage basis, it was the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) that led the way with a 1.4% advance, and a 14-year high of 4,641.51.

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 17,390.52) rallied 195.10 points, or 1.1%, for its highest-ever daily close, after earlier touching a record peak of 17,395.54. Twenty-seven of the blue-chip index's components ended higher, led by Intel Corporation's (NASDAQ:INTC) 4.4% pop. By contrast, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) paced the two decliners, finishing 0.2% south of breakeven, while The Home Depot, Inc. (NYSE:HD) settled at breakeven. For the week, the Dow added 3.5%, and for the month, it gained 2%.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,018.05) soared as high as 2,018.19, and settled just south of this mark with an advance of 23.4 points, or 1.2%, for a record closing perch. It also finished above 2,000 for the first time since Sept. 19. Similarly, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,630.74) tagged a 14-year peak of 4,641.51, and ended on a gain of 64.6 points, or 1.4% -- its highest close in 14 years, as well. The SPX tacked on 2.7% and 2.3% for the week and month, respectively. Meanwhile, the COMP advanced 3.3% for the week, and 3.1% in October.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 14.03) gave back 0.5 point, or 3.4%, and nearly finished below 14 for the first time since Sept. 24. Over the week, the market's "fear gauge" lost 12.9%, which widens to 14% going out a month.

CLOSING SUMMARY – INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY – NYSE AND NASDAQ

5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. U.S. consumer spending unexpectedly declined last month, according to the Commerce Department -- the first month-over-month drop since January. Meanwhile, personal incomes rose at a slower-than-expected clip, and the national savings rate edged slightly higher, to 5.6% from 5.4%. (Los Angeles Times)
  2. Virgin Galactic's SpaceShip Two rocket plane allegedly exploded this afternoon due to an "in-flight anomaly." The co-pilot was killed, while the pilot suffered serious injuries in the crash that occurred over the Mojave Air and Space Port in California, the location from which the shuttle took off. (CNBC)
  3. ABBV shrugged off its abandoned deal with Shire PLC (ADR) (NASDAQ:SHPG) to hit a record high, thanks to a successful turn in the earnings confessional.
  4. January-dated puts were targeted in Bank of America Corp's (NYSE:BAC) options pits, as speculators wagered on a pullback over the next few months.
  5. Pre-earnings options traders took different angles toward this semiconductor name, amid a sector-wide rally.
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 futures dropped due to further strengthening in the dollar, and data from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), which showed little effort to curb production. By session's end, crude was off 58 cents, or 0.7%, to close at $80.54 per barrel. Taking a step back, liquid gold lost 0.6% for the week, and 11.6% for the month -- its fourth consecutive monthly decline.

Gold fell to its lowest level in more than four years, as U.S. stocks rallied and the greenback gained strength on the BoJ's newly unveiled stimulus measures. By the close, the December-dated contract had plummeted $27, or 2.3%, to settle at $1,171.60 per ounce. For the week, gold shed 4.9%, and for the month, 3.3%.


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