S&P, Nasdaq Assail New Heights; Dow Jones Industrial Average Conquers 18K

The Nasdaq hit another multi-year high, while the S&P broke its all-time mark

by Andrea Kramer

Published on Feb 13, 2015 at 4:52 PM
Updated on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:32 PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) fought off a midday hiccup and ended north of the key 18,000 level today, as seemingly improving situations in Europe buoyed investor confidence. Trader morale also got a boost from yet another positive day for crude. The day wasn't without its bad news, however, as consumer sentiment and import prices came in lower than expected. Still, heading into the holiday-shortened week, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) and the S&P 500 Index both explored new highs, with the latter extending its Friday the 13th lucky streak.

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 18,019.23) almost saw its gains erased at midday, but recovered to add nearly 47 points, or 0.3%, to mark its first close north of 18,000 since late December. Of the Dow's 30 components, 16 finished higher, led by Caterpillar Inc.'s (NYSE:CAT) 1.9% gain. On the flipside, American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) led the losers once again, with its 3% loss. On the week, the Dow ended 1.1% higher.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,096.99) touched a record high of 2,097.03, before settling 8.5 points, or 0.4% higher, while the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,893.84) finished at another 15-year high, a gain of 36.2 points, or 0.8%. The SPX finished 2% higher on the week, while the COMP added 3.2%

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 14.69) shed 0.6 point, or 4.2%, to settle south of 15 for the first time in 2015. However, the VIX's drop was contained by its 200-day moving average. For the week, the VIX was off 15%.

CLOSING SUMMARY – INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY – NYSE AND NASDAQ

5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. Even with a ceasefire on the horizon, the fighting waged on in Ukraine. Elsewhere, Greece began talks with its creditors ahead of Monday's meeting with European finance ministers, which will serve as the country's last chance to ask for an extension of its current bailout program, which ends at the end of the month. (Reuters)
  2. On the home front, the preliminary Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index fell from an 11-year high in February, dropping to 93.6. Economists were expecting the index to stay at 98.1. Meanwhile, U.S. imports suffered their biggest drop in six years last month. (CNBC, via Reuters)
  3. Two biopharmaceutical companies got analyst-induced boosts, while another gained on a possible proxy fight.
  4. It was a good day for cybersecurity stocks Cyberark Software Ltd (NASDAQ:CYBR) and FireEye Inc (NASDAQ:FEYE).
  5. A downgrade at Credit Suisse had Gap Inc (NYSE:GPS) bears charging.
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:

Oil increased on news that weekly rig counts were down, as well as encouraging growth data out of Europe. By the close, March-dated oil added $1.57, or 3.1%, to close at $52.78. For the week, black gold added 2.1%.

For the second day in a row, gold settled higher, thanks to a drop in the U.S. dollar. April-dated gold increased $6.40, or 0.5%, to end the day at $1,227.10. On a weekly basis, the most active contract lost 0.6%.


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