Volatile Session Ends in a 225-Point Win for the Dow Jones Industrial Average

Gold logs its biggest one-day drop since December 2013

by Karee Venema

Published on Jan 29, 2015 at 4:19 PM
Updated on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:32 PM

Volatility was the name of the game in today's session, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) trading in a roughly 300-point range. While traders digested the latest round of big-cap earnings reports and a mixed bag of economic data, oil continued to be a key driver -- with the blue-chip barometer seemingly tracking crude's action on both sides of breakeven. Additionally, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (COMP) were able to shake off early losses to settle near their session highs.

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 17,416.85) spent time on both sides of breakeven, but an early afternoon bounce off its 120-day moving average -- a trendline that served as support in mid-December -- helped propel the index up 225.5 points, or 1.3%. Twenty-four of the Dow's 30 components gained ground, led by Boeing Co's (NYSE:BA) 5.8% pop. Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX) paced the six decliners with its 0.7% decline.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,021.25) spent most of the morning south of the highly watched 2,000 mark, before staging a 19.1-point, or 1%, rebound. In similar fashion, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,683.41) was in the red for the majority of the day, but closed the session up 45.4 points, or 1%.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 18.76) shed 1.7 points, or 8.2%, and surrendered its short-term foothold atop the round-number 20 mark.

CLOSING SUMMARY – INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY – NYSE AND NASDAQ

5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. Weekly jobless claims fell to their lowest level in almost 15 years last week, according to the Labor Department. Specifically, initial claims dropped 43,000 to a seasonally adjusted 265,000 -- the largest drop in more than two years. Elsewhere on the economic front, pending home sales unexpectedly declined in December.(CNBC; Bloomberg)
  2. At a meeting in Brussels today, EU officials voted to extend sanctions against Russia for six months amid escalating tension in Ukraine -- and kept open the possibility of more action. This could potentially include adding new individuals to both the visa-ban and the asset-freeze lists. (ABC News)
  3. NQ hit its lowest mark on record today, but options traders think there's more downside ahead.
  4. 2 medical device makers that rallied in the wake of their earnings reports -- and subsequent round of bullish brokerage notes.
  5. One of the biggest gainers on the Big Board today got a little help from a stellar quarterly earnings report, and a newly inked partnership with Baidu Inc (NASDAQ:BIDU).
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 breached the $44 mark in intraday action, amid reports of an influx in supplies at the Cushing, Oklahoma refinery. However, bargain hunters helped liquid gold bounce back, and by session's end, crude for March delivery was up 8 cents, or 0.2%, at $44.53 per barrel.

Gold, on the other hand, fell by the most in 13 months, as the strong reading on jobless claims boosted expectations that a rate hike could come sooner rather than later. At the close, April-dated gold -- the most active contract -- was down $31.30, or 2.4%, at $1,255.90 per ounce.


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