Dow Jones Industrial Average Back Above 18,000; S&P Hits New High

The S&P 500 Index (SPX) jumped to its loftiest level ever

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Feb 13, 2015 at 11:57 AM
Updated on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:32 PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) is back above the 18,000 millennium level, as Greece's debt crisis and the Ukraine-Russia conflict appear to be headed toward resolutions. Further strengthening the blue-chip index is an ongoing recovery in crude, as well as encouraging economic data out of Europe. Taken together, these developments are overshadowing wider-than-expected drops in import prices and consumer sentiment. At last check, the Dow was up 44 points, or 0.2%, the S&P 500 Index just hit a record high of 2,094.74, and the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) achieved another decade-plus peak of 4,880.48. Meanwhile, the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is testing support at the round-number 15 level, as fear among investors recedes.

Continue reading for more on today's market -- and don't miss:

Midday Market Stats

Among the stocks with notable option volume is credit card giant American Express Company (NYSE:AXP), with the stock fresh off an annual low of $77.72. At last check, the shares were still down 2.8% at $78.23, following a round of bearish brokerage attention. However, bulls are buying to open the February 78 calls, in the hopes AXP will muscle higher by next Friday's close, when the series expires.

For more midday statistics and stocks on the move, head to page 2.

Integrated media firm World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE:WWE) is one of the biggest advancers on the Big Board, jumping more than 13% to trade at $16.24, and powering north of the 16 strike for the first time since a mid-May bear gap. The stock is extending yesterday's earnings momentum, and there's unconfirmed buzz that the rally is being powered by short-covering activity. This is certainly a possibility, considering 17.6% of WWE's float is sold short, which would take a week to buy back, at typical daily trading levels.

Daily Chart of WWE Since May 2014

Online security issue Cyberark Software Ltd (NASDAQ:CYBR) is the among the notable gainers on the Nasdaq, surging nearly 20% to trade at $54.78, and earlier touching a record peak of $55.40. Helping the stock into uncharted territory is the company's latest earnings report, which prompted a round of price-target hikes.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is down 0.4 point, or 2.3%, at 14.99. The market's "fear gauge" hasn't settled below 15 since late December.

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 1.51, with puts outpacing calls. At last check, SPY is up 0.6 point, or 0.3%, at $209.57.

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