COMP Makes It 10 in a Row; Dow Jones Industrial Average Hits New High

Crude logged its fifth straight day of losses

Karee Venema
Feb 24, 2015 at 4:18 PM
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Another day, another record-setting session on Wall Street, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) notching an all-time best thanks to strong earnings from Home Depot Inc (NYSE:HD), well-received fundamental news for JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM), headway between Greece and its creditors, and some fairly dovish comments from Fed Chair Janet Yellen. The risk-on backdrop spread to other corners of the Street, as well, with the S&P 500 Index (SPX) hitting its own record high, and the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) extending its winning streak to 10 straight sessions -- its longest in more than five years.

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 18,209.19) spent nearly the entire session in the green -- hitting a record intraday peak of 18,231.09, before closing up 92.4 points, or 0.5%, at its highest settlement to date. Of the Dow's 30 components, 22 gained ground, led by HD's 4% pop. UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE:UNH) paced the seven decliners with its 0.8% loss. Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) finished flat.

In similar fashion, the S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,115.48) rallied up to 2,117.94 -- its loftiest intraday mark -- before settling up 5.8 points, or 0.3%, at an all-time closing peak. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,968.12), meanwhile, hit a fresh 14-year high of 4,971.18, before closing with a 7.2-point, or 0.1%, gain.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 13.69) shed 0.9 point, or 6%, to settle at its lowest point since Dec. 5 -- and marking its third straight close beneath its 200-day moving average.

CLOSING SUMMARY – INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY – NYSE AND NASDAQ

5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen testified in front of the Senate Banking Committee today, stressing the central bank would be "patient" in its approach to raising interest rates -- and underscoring that the removal of that specific word would not signal an immediate rate hike. Additionally, she said the Fed was in no rush raise interest rates, as "too many Americans remain unemployed or underemployed, wage growth is still sluggish and inflation remains well below our longer-run objective." (The New York Times)
  2. Speaking of the economy, today's raft of data was hot and cold. Specifically, home prices improved in December and activity in the services sector picked up this month, while consumer confidence declined. (Reuters )
  3. CIEN is slated to take its turn in the earnings confessional next week, and ahead of the event, one option bull bet $1.1 million on a post-earnings breakout.
  4. Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU) got smacked lower by some Samsung-Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) buzz, and options traders were quick to bet on more downside.
  5. Casino stocks took a hit today, and Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE:LVS) was no exception.
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 fell for a fifth consecutive session today, as anxiety ahead of tomorrow's inventories report overshadowed reports of shuttered Libyan oilfields. By the close, crude for April delivery was down 17 cents, or 0.3%, at $49.28 per barrel.

After hitting another seven-week low in intraday action, gold pared some of its losses in the wake of Yellen's testimony -- but still surrendered its foothold atop $1,200. At session's end, April-dated gold was down $3.50, or 0.3%, at $1,197.30 per ounce.


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