Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 Make It One for the Record Books

An upwardly revised third-quarter GDP reading had crude oil bouncing back

Karee Venema
Dec 23, 2014 at 4:21 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) and S&P 500 Index (SPX) continued their record-setting runs, as a strong reading on third-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) stoked a fresh wave of buying power. Not only did the DJI and SPX hit all-time intraday peaks and settle at their loftiest perches on record, but the former toppled the elusive 18,000 mark for the first time ever, and the latter showed that past really can be prologue. However, it wasn't a particularly festive session for the Nasdaq Composite (COMP), which sat out the day's bullish bias amid a sell-off in biopharmaceutical names.

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 18,024.17) hit the ground running today -- making its first foray north of 18,000 -- and tagging a fresh intraday peak of 18,069.22 along the way. By the close, the DJI had pared its gains to 64.7 points, or 0.4%, to notch its highest settlement to date. Twenty-five of the Dow's 30 components gained ground, led by Chevron Corporation's (NYSE:CVX) 1.7% gain. Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) paced the five decliners with a 3% drop.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,082.17) topped out at an all-time intraday best of 2,086.73, before settling up 3.6 points, or 0.2%, at its highest close on record. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,765.42), however, spent almost the entire session in the red, closing with a 16-point, or 0.3%, loss.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 14.80) gave back 0.5 point, or 3%, to settle at its lowest level since Dec. 8.

CLOSING SUMMARY – INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY – NYSE AND NASDAQ

5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. Third-quarter GDP grew at a 5% annual rate -- its loftiest rise in 11 years -- up from the previous estimate of 3.9%, and above economists' estimate for a 4.3% advance. Elsewhere on the economic front, durable goods unexpectedly fell in November, consumer sentiment surged to its highest perch since January 2007, consumer income and spending increased, and new home sales tumbled.(Bloomberg; CNBC; LA Times)
  2. As Russia's troubles deepen, Standard & Poor's announced it has put the country on negative credit watch. Specifically, the brokerage firm says there's at least a 1-in-2 chance the country's credit rating will be downgraded to junk within 90 days, amid what it sees as "a rapid deterioration of Russia's monetary flexibility and the impact of the weakening economy on its financial system." (Bloomberg)
  3. AAPL launched its first-ever automatic security for Macintosh computers, on concerns several new bugs could pave a way for hackers to access machines remotely.
  4. GoPro Inc (NASDAQ:GPRO) rallied in the wake of its lockup expiry, but options traders are split on the equity's short-term trajectory.
  5. Why NQ Mobile Inc (ADR) (NYSE:NQ) short sellers were likely feeling the sting in today's trading.
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 oil bounced back, thanks to an upwardly revised third-quarter GDP reading. By session's end, crude for February delivery was up $1.86, or 3.4%, to $57.12 per barrel.

A strengthening dollar sent gold lower amid today's low-volume session. At the close, February-dated gold was down $1.80, or 0.2%, at $1,178 per ounce.


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