The Dow Ends Merger Monday on a Very High Note

Gold snapped its two-session winning streak as the dollar gained ground

Nov 17, 2014 at 4:21 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) spent most of the morning in the red, as traders digested a pair of uninspiring manufacturing reports, news that Japan had officially entered a recession, and a round of M&A updates. However, the blue-chip barometer reversed course around midday, after European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi swooped in to save the day with comforting stimulus comments. By the time the closing bell sounded, the DJI was sitting on a 13-point lead, adding to last week's modest gains, while the S&P 500 Index (SPX) notched another all-time closing high.

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 17,647.75) traded in a slim 68-point range today, eventually finishing the session up 13 points, or 0.1%. Of the DJI's 30 components, 14 gained ground, led by UnitedHealth Group Inc.'s (NYSE:UNH) 1.4% pop. American Express Company's (NYSE:AXP) 0.6% drop paced the 15 decliners, while International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) finished flat.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,041.32) settled at its highest close to date, tacking on 1.5 points, or 0.1%. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,671.00) underperformed its peers, losing 17.5 points, or 0.4%.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 13.99) added 0.7 point, or 5.1%, paring its month-to-date loss to 0.3%.

CLOSING SUMMARY – INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY – NYSE AND NASDAQ

5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. An index measuring business activity in New York jumped to 10.16 in November -- following a sharp drop in October -- but failed to rise above economists' consensus estimate of 10.5. Similarly, U.S. industrial production rose by a slimmer-than-expected 0.2% in October, due largely to a third straight monthly drop in motor vehicle production. (FOX Business; CNBC)
  2. J.P. Morgan Securities said it prefers European stocks over U.S. equities at the moment. Specifically, the brokerage firm upped its outlook on the former to "buy," and downgraded its recommendation on the latter to "underweight," saying the "recent underperformance of euro zone versus the U.S. is presenting an opportunity." (Bloomberg)
  3. MSFT bulls went all in, betting on the stock to hit a fresh 14-year high by week's end.
  4. Option traders took different routes on social networking sites Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) and LinkedIn Corp (NYSE:LNKD) to gamble on their short-term trajectories.
  5. A fresh high and newfound level of support failed to convince Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) speculators.
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:

After bottoming at an intraday low of $74.71, December-dated crude pared a portion of these losses to settle down 18 cents, or 0.2%, at $75.64 per barrel, on reports that Russia and Venezuela could be in the process of coordinating on oil prices ahead of an Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) meeting this week.

Gold snapped its two-session winning streak, amid a strengthening dollar and cooling demand. By session's end, gold for December delivery was $2.10, or 0.2%, lower at $1,183.50 per ounce.


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