Dow Jones Industrial Average Soars, Back in Black for 2015

Investors are eagerly awaiting tomorrow's nonfarm payrolls report

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Jan 8, 2015 at 4:16 PM
Updated on Jun 24, 2020 at 10:16 AM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) posted a huge win for the second day in a row -- tacking on more than 323 points -- as traders digested the latest unemployment figures and signs of additional stimulus measures from European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi. Consequently, the blue-chip benchmark clawed back atop its year-to-date breakeven mark -- with the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (COMP) following suit. Looking ahead, Wall Street is eagerly awaiting the release of the Labor Department's nonfarm payrolls report bright and early tomorrow.

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 17,907.87) shot higher out of the gate and never looked back. By the close, the blue-chip index was up 323.4 points, or 1.8%, and back in the black on a year-to-date basis. All 30 Dow components finished higher, led by UnitedHealth Group Inc.'s (NYSE:UNH) 4.8% gain.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,062.14) added 36.2 points, or 1.8%, while the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,736.19) tacked on 85.7 points, or 1.8%. Moreover, both indexes ended just above their year-to-date flatlines.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 17.01) tumbled amid the broad-market rally, giving up 2.3 points, or 11.9%. What's more, the "fear gauge" closed below its 10-day moving average for the first time since Dec. 30.

CLOSING SUMMARY – INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY – NYSE AND NASDAQ

5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. JCP is being forced to close 40 underperforming stores and lay off over 2,200 employees, despite a stellar holiday season. The retailer's media relations manager described the closures as a "necessary business decision" that's "essential in meeting our long-term goals for future company growth." (USA Today)
  2. Honda Motor Co Ltd (ADR) (NYSE:HMC) will pay the U.S. government $70 million in penalties for failing to report more than 1,700 deaths and injuries that occurred from 2003 through 2014 in HMC vehicles. A number of these incidents stem from faulty Takata air bags, which have been responsible for recalls throughout the automotive industry. (Reuters, via CNBC)
  3. This biopharmaceutical stock had a volatile session following the release of drug data.
  4. Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) debuted new products at the Consumer Electronics Show, prompting this trader to place a big downside bet.
  5. A closer look at why Halozyme Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:HALO) shot higher for a second straight session.
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 advanced slightly today, as a dip in weekly jobless claims and expectations of additional eurozone stimulus measures boosted investor sentiment. The February-dated contract added 14 cents, or 0.3%, to land at $48.79 per barrel.

Gold extended its losing streak to two days, as the metal's safe-haven appeal dimmed in light of the broad-market rally. At the close, February-dated gold was down $2.20, or 0.2%, to settle at $1,208.50 per ounce.


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