Dow Jones Industrial Average Climbs on Ceasefire, Earnings, M&A

Gold and crude both moved higher on the greenback's dip

by Andrea Kramer

Published on Feb 12, 2015 at 4:36 PM
Updated on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:32 PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) blazed a steady path higher today, as traders donned rose-colored glasses. Blue-chip tech titan Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) assailed new heights on an earnings win, overshadowing a poorly received breakup for fellow Dow component American Express Company (NYSE:AXP), and helping the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) encroach on 15-year highs. Meanwhile, a major deal in the online travel arena sparked optimism about the collective health of the corporate pocketbook, taking the sting out of lackluster jobless data and retail sales. In the same vein, a ceasefire between Russia and Ukraine propped crude futures, and offset the lack of an olive branch between cash-strapped Greece and its creditors.

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 17,972.38) grinded higher throughout the day, finishing with a 110.2-point, or 0.6%, gain to settle at a year-to-date closing high. Of the Dow's 30 components, 24 finished higher, led by CSCO's 9.4% gain. AXP, on the other hand, lost 6.4% to pace the losers.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,088.48) added 20 points, or 1%, while the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,857.61) was not to be outdone, tacking on 56.4 points, or 1.2%. The SPX settled at a 2015 high, while the COMP explored territory not charted since 2000.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 15.34) shed 1.6 points, or 9.6%, to mark its lowest close of the year.

CLOSING SUMMARY – INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY – NYSE AND NASDAQ

5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. Investors were encouraged by news that several European countries had reached a ceasefire agreement on the conflict in Ukraine. The pact, which French President Francois Hollande described as a "glimmer of hope," will take effect on Sunday, Feb. 15. (The Guardian)
  2. Following cyberattacks on companies like Sony Corp (NYSE:SNE), President Barack Obama is expected to announce an executive order that would require businesses and the government to make more information available regarding online threats. This follows news from earlier this week of a new government center for cybersecurity. (Reuters)
  3. Even though AAPL has been knocking out all-time highs the past few days, Carl Icahn says the stock is going to head even higher -- and options bulls agreed.
  4. Three stocks that had huge post-earnings sessions.
  5. Yesterday, Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) leaked Season 3 of "House of Cards" two weeks early -- and then quickly removed it. How and why did this happen?
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:

The ceasefire agreement between Russia and Ukraine helped crude move higher today, as it reduced the likelihood of additional sanctions against Russia. By the close, March-dated oil gained $2.37, or 4.9%, to close at $52.21.

Gold got a lift from a drop in the U.S. dollar. April-dated gold added $1.10, or 0.1%, to end the day at $1,220.70.


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