ECB News Props Up Dow; Attention Shifts to Payrolls

Traders are eagerly awaiting tomorrow's nonfarm payrolls report

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Mar 5, 2015 at 4:20 PM
Updated on Jul 1, 2020 at 4:35 PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) snapped its two-day losing streak today, ending with a modest gain as traders took a cautiously optimistic approach ahead of tomorrow's highly anticipated nonfarm payrolls report. Encouraging overseas developments overshadowed a round of lackluster domestic data. Specifically, European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi detailed bond-buying stimulus plans for the eurozone, and also upped the region's growth projections for 2015 and 2016. This was just enough to keep U.S. benchmarks out of the red, amid disappointing jobless claims, labor productivity, and manufacturing numbers.

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 18,135.72) ended 38.8 points, or 0.2%, higher -- and back above the 18,100 century mark. Seventeen of the blue-chip index's 30 components advanced, paced by a 1.2% gain at Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT). Leading the Dow's 12 losers was Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC), with a 1.2% drop. AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) finished flat.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,101.04) muscled back above 2,100, tacking on 2.5 points, or 0.1%. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,982.81) added 15.7 points, or 0.3%.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 14.04) slipped 0.2 point, or 1.3%, but managed to close above 14 for a second straight day.

CLOSING SUMMARY – INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY – NYSE AND NASDAQ

5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. Weekly jobless claims unexpectedly rose last week, hitting their highest level since May. Specifically, the number of Americans filing for first-time unemployment benefits rose 7,000 to 320,000, while the four-week moving average crept above the 300,000 level to 304,750. (Bloomberg)
  2. U.S. factory orders declined for a sixth consecutive month in January, the Commerce Department said. Specifically, new orders for manufactured products dipped 0.2% from the previous month, compared to the 0.2% gain expected by economists. (CNBC)
  3. The earnings calendar is fairly light tomorrow, but these two firms are still headed to the confessional.
  4. Option bears circled this struggling Dow component.
  5. A closer look at this seven-figure bet on Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA).
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 futures pulled back following Wednesday's advance, as concerns mounted over the U.S. stockpile build. Specifically, crude for April delivery gave back 77 cents, or 1.5%, to land at $50.76 per barrel.

Gold ended below the key $1,200 level, as the dollar's strength against the euro pressured the malleable metal to its fourth straight daily loss. By session's end, April-dated gold was down $4.70, or 0.4%, at $1,196.20 -- the lowest closing price for a most active contract since Jan. 2.


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