Dow Jones Industrial Average Turns Positive On New Greece Hope; S&P Tags Record High

Crude oil extended its winning streak, while gold hit a six-week low

by Josh Selway

Published on Feb 17, 2015 at 4:14 PM
Updated on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:32 PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) fell out of the gate, as traders reacted to a breakdown in talks between Greece and its creditors, as well as disappointing data back home. However, the blue-chip barometer reversed course in early afternoon action -- and the S&P 500 Index (SPX) was able to knock out yet another all-time high -- after reports surfaced that Greece could ask for an extension of its loan agreement. Traders now await tomorrow's release of the Federal Open Market Committee's (FOMC) latest meeting minutes, as well as a decision on emergency lending to Greek banks from the European Central Bank (ECB).

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 18,047.19) dropped to 17,951 at its lowest, but rebounded to add over 28 points, or 0.2%, closing above 18,000 for the second straight session. Of the Dow's 30 components, 19 finished higher, led by American Express Company's (NYSE:AXP) 1.3% gain. Conversely, McDonald's Corporation's (NYSE:MCD) 1.4% drop led the losers.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,100.34) touched another record high of 2,101.30, settling 3.4 points, or 0.2% higher, while the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,893.84) also hit a new high, before finishing with a gain of 5.4 points, or 0.1%.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 15.79) added 1.1 point, or 7.5%, to close back above the 15 mark.

CLOSING SUMMARY – INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY – NYSE AND NASDAQ

5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. According to a source, Greece is planning to ask for an extension of its loan agreement -- not to be confused with a bailout, as Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras noted earlier -- with eurozone creditors by up to six months. The ECB is scheduled to rule on emergency lending to Greek banks tomorrow. (Reuters, via CNBC)
  2. Back at home, the Empire State manufacturing survey showed New York-area activity slowed by more than anticipated in February, while sentiment among U.S. homebuilders dropped for the second month in a row. (Dow Jones Newswires, Reuters, via Fox Business)
  3. This online retailer touched record heights, thanks to a well-received earnings report.
  4. After adding over 10% last week, Novavax, Inc. (NASDAQ:NVAX) pushed higher again today, along with sector peer Esperion Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:ESPR).
  5. Taking a look at three notable names reporting earnings tomorrow.
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:

For a third straight session, oil ended higher, propped up by escalating geopolitical tension in the Middle East. At the close, March-dated oil added $0.75, or 1.4%, to close at $53.53 per barrel.

It was a rough day for gold, with the metal falling to its lowest levels in a month and a half, due to waning demand ahead of China's Lunar New Year. April-dated gold dropped $18.50, or 1.5%, to end the day at $1,208.60 an ounce.


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