Pre-Christmas Buyers Boost Dow Jones Industrial Average to Record High

Crude sold off sharply on a surprise surge in inventories

Dec 24, 2014 at 1:21 PM
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There was a bullish buzz circling the Street during today's holiday-shortened session -- perhaps due to an upbeat reading on weekly jobless claims -- which helped send the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) deeper into uncharted territory, and higher for a sixth straight day. In fact, the Dow not only tagged a fresh intraday peak for a second consecutive session, but settled at its loftiest perch on record, despite surrendering a healthy portion of its gains in the final hour of trading. The burst of buying power was seen elsewhere, as well, with the Russell 2000 Index (RUT) coming within striking distance of an all-time closing peak, and the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) rising in step with its peers, thanks in part to an extended rally for GoPro Inc (NASDAQ:GPRO). Looking ahead, markets are closed tomorrow for Christmas, and Friday's economic and earnings calendars are devoid of data.

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 18,030.21) headed higher out of the gate, and tagged a new intraday peak of 18,086.24, before settling the session up 6 points -- at a record close. Eleven of the Dow's 30 components moved higher, led by 0.9% pops for Boeing Co (NYSE:BA) and Visa Inc (NYSE:V). Exxon Mobil Corporation's (NYSE:XOM) 0.9% loss paced the 17 decliners, while JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) finished flat.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,081.88) also hit a fresh intraday high of 2,087.56, before closing down 0.3 point. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,773.47), meanwhile, put in the best performance of its peers, tacking on 8.1 points, or 0.2%.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 14.37) gave back 0.4 point, or 2.9%, to settle south of 15 for a second straight session.



5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. Weekly jobless claims fell by 9,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 280,000 -- their lowest perch in seven weeks. What's more, the four-week moving average dropped by 8,500 to 290,250. (USA Today)
  2. Uber CEO Travis Kalanick and the director of its partner MK Korea Co. have been indicted in South Korea for violating transportation laws. Prosecutors say the car sharing service -- which has been operating in Seoul since 2013 -- illegally used rental cars as a taxi service. Uber responded in a statement, saying, "We firmly believe that our service, which connects drivers and riders via an application, is not only legal in Korea, but that it is being welcomed and supported by consumers." (Bloomberg)
  3. BAC rallied to fresh four-year highs today, prompting a rare showing of bullish betting.
  4. Option bulls just can't quit General Motors Company (NYSE:GM), despite ongoing technical and fundamental troubles.
  5. This Wall Street newcomer saw a bevy of upbeat analyst initiations, following a strong surge in the wake of its mid-November IPO.

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




Crude oil resumed its downtrend today, after the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said crude inventories unexpectedly surged by 7.3 million barrels to the highest amount in December on record. Against this backdrop, crude for February delivery is down $1.83, or 3.2%, at $55.29 per barrel.

Gold headed south for a third straight session, as a stronger dollar applied pressure to the malleable metal. At the close, February-dated gold was down $4.50, or 0.4%, at $1,173.50 per ounce.

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