Nike Leads Dow Jones Industrial Average Higher; COMP, RUT Hit Highs

Nike Inc (NKE) reached its highest level on record, following an earnings beat

Mar 20, 2015 at 4:20 PM
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It's been a wild week on Wall Street, and today was no exception. A softening dollar was a boon to the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), helping the index to another triple-digit gain and its first weekly win in four. The DJIA also settled above the psychologically significant 18,000 millennium level, while the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) easily took out 5,000 en route to a 14-year high. Small-caps joined in on the fun, too, as the Russell 2000 Index (RUT) notched an all-time peak at 1,267.22. While there was little in the way of economic data to process, an earnings beat and round of positive analyst notes lifted blue chip Nike Inc (NYSE:NKE) to a new high.

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA - 18,127.65) jumped out of the gate, and by late morning had toppled both the 18,000 and 18,100 levels. At the close, the Dow was up 168.6 points, or 0.9%, for the day, and 2.1% week-over-week. NKE paced the 27 advancing blue chips with a 3.7% gain. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE:UNH) both lost 1.3%, while DuPont (NYSE:DD) rounded out the losers.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,108.06) popped 18.8 points, or 0.9%, and took out the 2,100 century mark. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 5,026.42) ended atop 5,000 for the second time since 2000 -- adding 34 points, or 0.7% -- and hit a 14-year peak of 5,042.14 in the process. For the week, the SPX and COMP tacked on 2.7% and 3.2%, respectively.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 13.02) dropped 1.1 points, or 7.5%, for its lowest weekly close since early December. Week-over-week, the market's "fear gauge" surrendered 18.6%.



5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart said that, unless there's a serious downturn in the U.S. economy, he anticipates the Fed will increase interest rates sometime between June and September. "I think it is realistic to assume that is the period in which we will be taking on this decision with a high likelihood of pulling the trigger," Lockhart opined. (CNBC)
  2. Former Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher expressed concern over a potential market correction because "people have gotten lazy." Clarifying the remark, Fisher said investors have become too dependent on the Fed, and as a result, the market has become "hyper overpriced." (CNBC)
  3. Eleventh-hour bulls rushed AMBA, on the heels of a fresh record high.
  4. Last-minute call buyers responded as, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) got the green light to test drones.
  5. Is Five Below Inc (NASDAQ:FIVE) poised for post-earnings upside? These traders think so.

For a look at today's options movers and commodities activity, head to page 2.




Crude got a lift from a weaker dollar, and posted a weekly gain for the first time in five. The now-expired April-dated contract popped $1.76, or 4% -- its best single-day gain since Feb. 12 -- to land at $45.72 per barrel. Week-over-week, oil added 2%.

Gold also advanced on the cooling greenback, for its third straight daily gain. April-dated gold added $15.60, or 1.3%, to settle at $1,184.60, bringing its week-over-week lead to 2.8% -- the biggest jump of its kind since January.


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