Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P Notch New Highs Ahead of Thanksgiving

Crude prices hit a four-year low ahead of tomorrow's OPEC meeting

Nov 26, 2014 at 4:19 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) traded in a tight 43-point range today, and ended just north of breakeven for its highest close ever. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (COMP) mustered modest gains, with the former notching a record closing peak, and the latter touching a 14-year high of 4,788.00 in afternoon trading. The technical milestones were somewhat surprising, given the raft of economic data that hit the Street -- most of which missed estimates. Meanwhile, energy prices continued to head south in the run-up to tomorrow's Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) gathering in Vienna, as hopes for a production cut are dimming. Looking ahead, U.S. markets are closed Thursday in observance of Thanksgiving.

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 17,827.75) waffled above and below breakeven -- ultimately resolving to the upside by 12.8 points, or 0.1% -- for its highest-ever close. Twenty-two of the Dow's 30 components rose, led by Pfizer Inc.'s (NYSE:PFE) 2.1% rally. United Technologies Corporation (NYSE:UTX) paced the seven losers, shedding 1.4%, and Visa Inc (NYSE:V) was unchanged.

Meanwhile, the S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,072.83) added 5.8 points, or 0.3%, for its loftiest close in history. Similarly, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,787.32) tacked on 29.1 points, or 0.6%, for new 14-year closing high -- in addition to its intraday peak of 4,788.00.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 12.07) surrendered 0.2 point, or 1.5%, but avoided closing below 12 -- despite touching an intraday low of 11.91.



5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. The economic data that hit the Street today was mostly disappointing. Initial jobless claims unexpectedly spiked, personal income and spending rose by slimmer-than-expected margins, and an increase in new home sales last month failed to meet estimates. Meanwhile, durable goods orders increased slightly in October, powered by military spending. Stripping out these defense-related items, though, orders dropped 0.6%. (USA Today; Reuters; FOX Business)
  2. Mother Nature is throwing a wrench into Thanksgiving travel plans, as Winter Storm Cato begins to pummel the East Coast. Roughly 600 flights have already been canceled, and another 2,500 have been delayed. (CNBC)
  3. TASR's news-induced rally had call buyers buzzing.
  4. The brokerage bunch reacted very positively to Hewlett-Packard Company's (NYSE:HPQ) latest quarterly results.
  5. With three NFL games on tap for tomorrow, Schaeffer's contributor Adam Warner handicaps the best and worst divisions in football.

For a look at today's options movers and commodities activity, head to page 2.




Crude futures struck another four-year low, ahead of tomorrow's highly anticipated OPEC meeting. Hurting black gold were comments from Saudi Arabia's oil minister, who said he won't push for a production cut. By session's end, January-dated crude was off 40 cents, or 0.5%, at $73.69 per barrel.

Gold futures ended slightly lower, as traders played wait-and-see ahead of this weekend's Swiss referendum on increasing the nation's gold reserves. At the close, December gold was down 50 cents at $1,196.60 per ounce.



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