S&P, Small-Caps Ink Record Highs; Dow Jones Industrial Average Slips

Crude oil futures initially ticked higher, but retreated in afternoon action

by Andrea Kramer

Published on Dec 29, 2014 at 4:21 PM
Updated on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:32 PM

Amid light volume, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) spent the session dancing around the flat line. The same can be said for the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Russell 2000 Index (RUT), though the broad-market barometer and small-cap gauge both managed to notch record intraday highs. Compared to traders across the pond, though, speculators on Wall Street are likely happy with the lack of volatility, as European benchmarks dropped amid snap-election drama in Greece. In addition, the major U.S. indexes essentially shrugged off downbeat manufacturing data out of Texas, as well as crude oil's intraday fall from grace -- and back to multi-year lows.

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 18,038.23) flirted with breakeven the entire session, but ultimately settled on a loss of 15.5 points, or 0.1%, snapping its seven-session winning streak. Twelve of the Dow's 30 components ended higher, led by a 0.8% gain for Home Depot Inc (NYSE:HD). International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) paced the blue-chip losers, surrendering 1.1%.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,090.57) also traded in a narrow range, adding 1.8 points, or 0.1%, after tagging an all-time high of 2,093.55 in intraday action. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,806.91) also stuck close to the flat line, eking out a fractional gain of 0.05 point.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 15.06) tacked on 0.6 point, or 3.9%, to end north of 15 for the first session in four.

CLOSING SUMMARY – INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY – NYSE AND NASDAQ

5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. Shake Shack filed for an initial public offering to raise $100 million. Is fellow fast-casual chain Smashburger next? (CNBC)
  2. The Dallas Fed manufacturing survey dropped by more than expected last month, due to plunging oil prices. Specifically, the index fell to 4.1 from 10.5 in November, compared to expectations for a slimmer decline to 9. (Business Insider)
  3. Are option players changing their tune on Cliffs Natural Resources Inc (NYSE:CLF) and Hertz Global Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:HTZ)?
  4. This GoPro Inc (NASDAQ:GPRO) supplier was deflated by a downgrade.
  5. Breaking down a cautiously optimistic option play on BABA.

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 initially rallied on reports of an oil-storage fire in Libya, but reversed course by the close, extending its recent downtrend. By the bell, February-dated crude gave up $1.12, or 2%, to finish at a five-year low of $53.61 per barrel.

Amid light volume, gold for February delivery pared Friday's gains, surrendering $13.40, or 1.1%, to land at $1,181.90 per ounce.


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