Dow Adds 421 Points as Fed Momentum Continues

New York will prohibit fracking starting next year

Dec 18, 2014 at 4:22 PM
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Just a day after posting its largest single-session gain of 2014, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) topped Wednesday's milestone by advancing 421 points, or 2.4%, as traders continued to cheer the Federal Reserve's dovish policy statement. Also encouraging the bulls was the latest report on weekly jobless claims, which fell to their lowest level since early November. On the earnings front, Dow component Nike Inc's (NYSE:NKE) quarterly report just hit the Street, while BlackBerry Ltd's (NASDAQ:BBRY) numbers are due out bright and early tomorrow.

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 17,778.15) had another monster day, soaring 421.3 points, or 2.4%. It was the blue-chip index's best session in three years. Each of the Dow's 30 components ended higher, led by a 3.9% advance at Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT).

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,061.23) tacked on 48.3 points, or 2.4%, for its biggest single-day advance of the year. Similarly, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,748.40) popped 104.1 points, or 2.2%.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 16.81) plummeted again, skidding to a 2.6-point, or 13.5%, loss. In so doing, the market's "fear gauge" landed beneath its 10-day moving average for the first time since Dec. 5.

CLOSING SUMMARY – INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY – NYSE AND NASDAQ

5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. First-time jobless claims unexpectedly fell last week to a seasonally adjusted 289,000. For the week ended Dec. 13, economists had expected the number of first time unemployment filings to rise to 295,000. (Reuters)
  2. AMZN kicked off its one-hour delivery service in Manhattan today. The program, called "Prime Now," will roll out to additional locations next year. The cost for one-hour delivery is $7.99 for Amazon Prime members, while two-hour delivery is free. (Bloomberg)
  3. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo made the controversial decision to ban fracking within the state. The policy will be implemented next year, according to Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens. (FOX Business)
  4. This biopharmaceutical stock received a half-dozen bullish brokerage notes after achieving its corporate goals for 2014.
  5. Dunkin Brands Group Inc (NASDAQ:DNKN) got hammered following its reduced same-store sales growth outlook -- and bearish bettors were quick to pounce.
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 ended a whipsaw session at its lowest perch since May 2009, snapping a two-day winning streak as traders resumed worrying about a supply surplus. The January-dated contract settled $2.36, or 4.2%, lower, at $54.11 per barrel.

Gold finished slightly above the flatline, as the effects from yesterday's Fed policy statement started to wane, and equities continued to rally, dimming the precious metal's safe-haven appeal. By the close, the February-dated contract was up 30 cents, or 0.03%, to land at $1,194.80 per ounce.


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