Dow Jones Industrial Average, Nasdaq Hit Milestones

A potential deal between the U.S. and Iran pressured crude

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Mar 2, 2015 at 4:18 PM
Updated on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:32 PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) soared to a fresh record high, while the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) toppled the 5,000 level, amid a raft of foreign and domestic economic data. Helping the market higher out of the gate was a rate cut from the People's Bank of China, while relatively in-line U.S. data on manufacturing helped fuel the risk-on session. However, the broad-market rally halted gold's streak of consecutive winning sessions, while news out of Tehran weighed on crude.

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 18,288.63) headed higher out of the gate and never looked back, finishing at a record level -- up 155.9 points, or 0.9%. Twenty-six of the Dow's 30 components advanced, paced by a 2.6% gain at Visa Inc (NYSE:V). On the flip side, IBM led the four losers, giving back 0.9%.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,117.39) tacked on 12.9 points, or 0.6%. Also, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 5,008.10) jumped 44.6 points, or 0.9%, to close above 5,000 for the first time since March 2000. In the process, the tech-heavy index touched a fresh 14-year intraday high of 5,008.57.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 13.04) slid 0.3 point, or 2.3%, for its lowest close of 2015.

CLOSING SUMMARY – INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY – NYSE AND NASDAQ

5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. The Institute for Supply Management's (ISM) manufacturing index dropped to its lowest level in more than a year. Specifically, the February reading skidded to 52.9 from 53.5 in January, though roughly in line with the consensus estimate. On a more encouraging note, Markit's purchasing managers index (PMI) came in above expectations. (Reuters; Business Insider)
  2. U.S. consumer spending slipped 0.2% in January -- the second consecutive month in which households opted to save rather than make purchases. Elsewhere, construction spending unexpectedly dropped in January, relative to December. (Reuters; Forbes)
  3. A "60 Minutes" report took a serious toll on shares of this retailer.
  4. These call buyers are eyeing triple-digit territory for the Golden Arches.
  5. Ahead of tomorrow's monthly auto sales data, Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) has been facing mounting skepticism in the options pits.
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:

Despite spending most of the day above the half-century $50 mark, crude futures gave up their gains on rumblings that a potential nuclear deal between the U.S. and Iran could lift sanctions and thereby increase the latter's exports. By the close, April-dated crude was off 17 cents, or 0.3%, to settle at $49.59 per barrel.

Gold closed with its first loss in four sessions, as a stock market rally dimmed the metal's safe-haven appeal. Specifically, gold for April delivery lost $4.90, or 0.4%, to close at $1,208.20 per ounce.


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