S&P Hits All-Time Closing High, Dow Jones Industrial Average Inches Closer to 18K

OPEC comments send crude oil reeling

by Andrea Kramer

Published on Dec 22, 2014 at 4:22 PM
Updated on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:32 PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) extended its winning streak to a fourth straight session, notching its highest close on record. Despite lackluster housing data and light pre-holiday volume -- as well as weakness in crude and natural gas futures -- the blue-chip barometer and its peers muscled higher, led by big-cap tech. In fact, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) also landed at its loftiest close of all-time, continuing the trend of jolly holiday price action.

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 17,959.44) gained momentum as the session progressed, eventually finishing near its intraday (and all-time) high, up 154.6 points, or 0.9%. Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) paced the Dow laggards, shedding 1%; commodity concerns Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX) and Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) were the other black sheep. Leading the 27 advancing blue chips was Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC), up 2.3%.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,078.54) tacked on 7.9 points, or 0.4%, to settle at an all-time closing best, and within a point of a record peak. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,781.42) gained 16 points, or 0.3%, to finish near its own session high.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 15.25) retreated 1.2 points, or 7.5%, to end beneath its 10-day and 20-day moving averages for the first time since Dec. 5.

CLOSING SUMMARY – INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY – NYSE AND NASDAQ

5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. U.S. existing home sales pulled back from their highest level in a year in November, dropping 6.1% from the month prior, the National Association of Realtors reported. The decline was bigger than expected, and marked the weakest sales rate since May. (MarketWatch)
  2. Just days after President Barack Obama vowed to respond to North Korea's hack of Sony Corp (ADR) (NYSE:SNE), the country is reportedly suffering major Internet outages. (CNBC)
  3. CHK slid in step with natural gas futures, yet option sellers are eyeing familiar support.
  4. If history is any indicator, Yahoo! Inc.'s (NASDAQ:YHOO) recent bounce could bode well for bulls.
  5. Why Pacific Crest thinks this media name has "the most potential upside" of its peers.

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 enjoying its best session in more than two years on Friday, black gold blazed a trail lower today, after Saudi Arabia's oil minister said the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) won't cut production. By the close, February-dated crude fell $1.87, or 3.3%, to land at $55.26 per barrel.

Despite an ailing dollar and lackluster housing data, gold futures retreated in light trading. By the close, gold for February delivery shed $16.20, or 1.4%, to finish at $1,179.80 per ounce.


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