Dow Jones Industrial Average Settles at New High in Low-Volume Session

PMI data suggests the economy's momentum may be starting to wane

Nov 24, 2014 at 4:19 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) ended at a record high, as the holiday-shortened week kicked off with a low-volume session. There was little in the way of economic news to spark a big move higher or lower, though the latest data out of the services sector missed the Street's consensus estimate, raising fears about the future of the economic recovery. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (COMP) both bested the Dow on a percentage basis, helped by strength among consumer discretionary and tech stocks. Looking ahead, a potential market catalyst will hit the Street bright and early tomorrow, with the latest gross domestic product (GDP) scheduled for release at 8:30 a.m. ET.

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 17,817.90) waffled around breakeven for most of the day, and closed a mere 7.8 points above the flat line for its highest finish ever. Half of the Dow's 30 components settled in the green, led by Intel Corporation's (NASDAQ:INTC) 1.9% pop. AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) paced the Dow's 14 losers, finishing 1.6% lower, while DuPont (NYSE:DD) was unchanged.

Meanwhile, the S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,069.41) gained 5.9 points, or 0.3%, for its own record closing high. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,754.89) tacked on 41.9 points, or 0.9%, touching a 14-year peak of 4,755.02 just before the close.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 12.62) dipped 0.3 point, or 2.2%, for its second straight finish south of 13.

CLOSING SUMMARY – INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY – NYSE AND NASDAQ

5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. Markit's flash services PMI checked in below expectations in November, suggesting the economic upturn may be losing strength. In other economic news, the Dallas Fed's manufacturing survey revealed a decline in production this month compared to October, while labor market indicators were unchanged month-over-month. (CNBC; The Dallas Morning News)
  2. Shares of Coinstar operator Outerwall Inc (NASDAQ:OUTR) spiked 12.3% on news the company will raise Redbox DVD rental prices by 25% to help improve its bottom line. Redbox President Mark Horak said the decision will help the firm to invest in new technologies, and improve its mobile platform and kiosk-stocking practices. (MarketWatch)
  3. With an assist from Raymond James, Aruba Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARUN) took its first step toward recovering from last Friday's earnings-induced sell-off.
  4. Front-month calls were all the rage in Twitter Inc's (NYSE:TWTR) options pits.
  5. A new decade-plus high from this semiconductor name likely left Friday's call buyers smiling.
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 moved south for the first time in three days, as analysts downplayed the likelihood of a production cut at the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries' (OPEC) Thursday meeting. By the time the dust settled, January crude had slipped 73 cents, or about 1%, to close at $75.78 per barrel.

After hitting a three-week high on Friday, gold dropped slightly as the dollar gained strength. By the close, the December-dated contract was off $2, or 0.2%, at $1,195.70 per ounce.

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