All Eyes on ECB; Dow Jones Industrial Average Posts Modest Win

The ECB will hold its long-awaited policy meeting tomorrow

Jan 21, 2015 at 4:16 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) staged a modest comeback after dipping out of the gate, buoyed by signs the European Central Bank (ECB) could implement a bond-buying program following tomorrow's highly anticipated meeting. Also supporting the blue-chip index were a strong earnings report from component UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE:UNH) and encouraging housing starts data for December. Meanwhile, fellow Dow component Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) will step under the earnings spotlight bright and early tomorrow.

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 17,554.28) was down triple digits in early trading, but eventually rebounded for a third straight daily advance. At the close, the index was 39.1 points, or 0.2%, higher. Nineteen of the Dow's 30 components ended in the green, paced by UNH's 3.5% gain. IBM Corp. (NYSE:IBM) led the 11 losers with a 3.1% post-earnings drop.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,032.12) added 9.6 points, or 0.5%, while the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,667.42) tacked on 12.6 points, or 0.3%.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 18.85) slid 1 point, or 5.2%, for its first finish south of 19 since Jan. 9.



5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. Ahead of tomorrow's highly anticipated ECB meeting, expectations are ramping up for additional stimulus measures amid reports that the central bank will recommend $58 billion in monthly asset purchases. The potential quantitative easing (QE) program is expected to run through the end of 2016. (Bloomberg)
  2. Single-family housing starts popped a better-than-expected 7.2% month-over-month in December to reach their fastest pace since early 2008, the Commerce Department said. However, building permits dropped 1.9%, dragged lower by a nearly 12% plunge in the multi-family-home segment. (Reuters)
  3. A few ideas GOOGL may want to consider for its modular smartphone.
  4. This e-commerce concern saw a rush of bullish betting amid a pair of fundamental developments.
  5. Despite impressive technicals, F5 Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ:FFIV) was pummeled by option skeptics ahead of tonight's quarterly report.

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




Crude rebounded amid a weakening dollar, as well as Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Secretary-General Abdullah al-Badri's prediction that oil prices "will rebound and we will go back to normal very soon." The March-dated contract added $1.31, or 2.8%, to land at $47.78 per barrel.

Gold snapped its seven-day winning streak, as concerns about the ECB's looming QE initiative pressured the precious metal slightly lower. Despite a foray into territory north of $1,300 -- something that hasn't happened since August -- February-dated gold eventually gave back $0.50 to settle at $1,293.70 per ounce.


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