M&A Mania Lifts Dow Jones Industrial Average to a 139-Point Win

Crude closed right at $50, while gold notched its first daily win this month

Mar 9, 2015 at 4:21 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) bounced back in a big way from last week's steep decline, and came within striking distance of reclaiming its perch atop 18,000 along the way. With nothing in the way of earnings or economic data to drive investor sentiment, traders turned to the rash of M&A updates that hit the Street. Included in the bunch were fresh purchases for Alcoa Inc (NYSE:AA) and eBay Inc's (NASDAQ:EBAY) PayPal unit, as well as rumors of potential sales for First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR) and Whiting Petroleum Corp (NYSE:WLL). The bullish flames spread elsewhere around the Street, as well, with both the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (COMP) rallying a respective 0.4% and 0.3% -- the latter in spite of a volatile day for busy Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL).

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 17,995.72) traded in a 174-point range today, and despite a slight dip at the open, the majority of the action was to the upside. By the close, the DJI was up 139 points, or 0.8%. Twenty-five of the Dow's 30 components gained ground, led by a 1.9% pop for United Technologies Corporation (NYSE:UTX). Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) paced the five decliners with its 1.4% drop.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,079.43) tacked on 8.2 points, or 0.4%, while the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,942.44) settled with a 15.1-point, or 0.3%, gain.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 15.06) shed 0.1 point, or 0.9%, but notched its second consecutive daily close north of its 200-day moving average .

CLOSING SUMMARY – INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY – NYSE AND NASDAQ

5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. Just one day after claiming a spot on the DJI -- and a few hours after receiving some upbeat analyst attention -- AAPL unveiled its highly anticipated smartwatch. The device -- which will be available in April -- ranges in price from $349 for the basic version to $10,000 for the luxury model. Additionally, AAPL unveiled its thinnest MacBook ever, as well as a partnership with HBO for its standalone streaming service. (CNBC)
  2. The bull market celebrated its sixth anniversary today. Since bottoming out at lows of 6,516.86 and 672.88, respectively, on March 9, 2009, the Dow has rallied 177%, while the broader S&P 500 has more than tripled. (Los Angeles Times)
  3. BABA's lock-up period expires next Wednesday, March 18, and despite the stock's recent struggles, option traders are betting on a breakout.
  4. This drugmaker shed more than one-third of its value today on a poorly received request from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and subsequent bearish brokerage note.
  5. Technical troubles steepened for Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK) and Lumber Liquidators Holdings Inc (NYSE:LL).
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:

Crude oil edged higher today, after Goldman Sachs said its $40-per-barrel 2015 forecast may be too low. At session's end, crude for April delivery was up 39 cents, or 0.8%, to close squarely at $50 per barrel.

Revamped fears over Greece's fiscal state, as well as a softer dollar, helped gold notch its first daily win so far this month. By the close, April-dated gold was $2.20, or 0.2%, higher at $1,166.50 per ounce.

 

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