Dow Jones Industrial Average Touches New High Amid Choppy Session

All eyes are on tomorrow's nonfarm payrolls report

Dec 4, 2014 at 4:17 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) explored both sides of breakeven today -- and touched a record high of 17,937.96 in the process -- before settling slightly lower. Weighing on the blue-chip index were comments from European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi, who said the Governing Council will take up the question of fresh stimulus actions early next year, rather than this month. The S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (COMP) also swung above and below the flatline throughout the session, with the former touching a record intraday peak of 2,077.34. Looking ahead, traders are gearing up for tomorrow's November nonfarm payrolls report and unemployment figures, due out at 8:30 a.m. ET.

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

  • Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU) hit a technical milestone today, prompting one speculator to roll up her optimistic bet.
  • Option bulls are rolling the dice on another multi-year high from this financial stock.
  • Plug Power Inc (NASDAQ:PLUG) rewarded recent call buyers with a news-induced rally.
  • Plus ... More on the ECB, weekly jobless claims drop, and Wall Street weighs in on a breakout semiconductor stock.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 17,900.10) swung higher and lower throughout the session, and eventually settled with a loss of 12.5 points, or 0.07% -- despite earlier hitting a record high of 17,937.96. A dozen of the Dow's 30 components closed above the flatline, led by Microsoft Corporation's (NASDAQ:MSFT) 1.6% advance. Another 17 stocks gave up ground -- with Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX) swallowing the biggest loss, down 1.3% -- while 3M Co (NYSE:MMM) finished flat.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,071.92) touched an all-time peak of 2,077.34, but ended 2.4 points, or 0.1%, lower. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,769.44) dropped a mere 5 points, or 0.1%.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 12.38) edged 0.1 point, or 0.7%, lower, and again failed to surmount its 10-day moving average and the 13 mark.



5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. As alluded to earlier, ECB President Mario Draghi said the central bank will not consider additional monetary stimulus until January -- bad news for those clamoring for more immediate action. Draghi said he and his fellow officials want to evaluate whether their current efforts to boost inflation rates are sufficient, before modifying fiscal policy. If low inflation persists, he said, "this would imply altering early next year the size, pace and composition of our measures." (Bloomberg)
  2. Weekly jobless claims returned to sub-300,000 levels last week, following a one-week hiatus, the Labor Department reported. Specifically, Americans filed 297,000 first-time applications for unemployment benefits, in line with expectations. Meanwhile, the four-week moving average rose slightly, but still came in under 300,000, hinting at a healthy job market. (Los Angeles Times)
  3. A successful trip to the earnings confessional and a round of bullish brokerage notes powered this semiconductor issue to a new high.
  4. Traders employed puts in two different ways while wagering on Peabody Energy Corporation's (NYSE:BTU) technical trajectory.
  5. See how these speculators positioned themselves ahead of Oracle Corporation's (NYSE:ORCL) upcoming earnings report.

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




January-dated crude resumed its downtrend today, after Saudi Arabia announced discounts to its customers in Asia and the U.S., and news that a major Libyan oil field may soon resume output following a pipeline blockage. At day's end, liquid gold was down 57 cents, or 0.8%, to settle at $66.81 per barrel.

Gold for February delivery edged slightly lower on news the ECB will not immediately implement additional stimulus measures. However, the malleable metal managed to stay above the key $1,200 level. By the close, the contract was down $1, or 0.08%, at $1,207.70 per ounce.



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