Dow Jones Industrial Average Roars Back as Dollar Drops

The Fed's two-day policy-setting meeting begins tomorrow

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Mar 16, 2015 at 4:19 PM
Updated on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:32 PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) erased last week's losses today -- and muscled back into positive year-to-date territory -- as the dollar reversed sharply lower. In fact, by session's end, the blue-chip barometer was again within striking distance of the 18,000 millennium level. The gains came despite crude's drop to six-year lows, a generally disappointing round of economic data, and uncertainty ahead of tomorrow's Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting -- which will culminate in a highly anticipated policy update on Wednesday afternoon.

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 17,977.42) jumped out of the gate and never looked back, adding 228.1 points, or 1.3%. At its session peak, the Dow was 11.5 points from the 18,000 marker. Twenty-eight of the Dow's 30 components ended above the flatline, paced by a 2.8% gain at UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE:UNH). DuPont (NYSE:DD) and Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) were the two losers, down 4.3% and 0.3%, respectively.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,081.19) advanced 27.8 points, or 1.4%, while the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,929.51) tacked on 57.8 points, or 1.2%.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 15.61) skidded to a 0.4-point, or 2.4%, loss. However, the market's "fear gauge" appeared to find a foothold at its 10-day moving average, located at 15.30.

CLOSING SUMMARY – INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY – NYSE AND NASDAQ

5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. Output among vehicle manufacturers weighed on U.S. industrial production, which unexpectedly suffered its third straight monthly decline in February. Meanwhile, overall capacity utilization retreated to 78.9% from 79.1%, bucking expectations for a rise to 79.5%. (CNBC)
  2. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) housing market index posted its third consecutive monthly drop this month, giving back 2 points to 53, from the February's reading of 55. Economists had expected the index to rise to 56. (Reuters)
  3. How might these three stocks be impacted by tomorrow night's round of earnings reports?
  4. Find out why this gaming stock sank to a fresh annual low.
  5. The weekend tweet that excited Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) traders.

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 settled at its lowest level in six years, as worries continued to mount over growing U.S. stockpiles. Despite forecasts for U.S. output reduction from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), the April-dated contracted slid 96 cents, or 2.1%, to close at $43.88 per barrel.

Gold managed a third straight daily gain, boosted by a weaker dollar. Specifically, gold for April delivery added 80 cents, or 0.1%, to land at $1,153.20 per ounce.


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