China, Big Deals Boost Dow Jones Industrial Average to a Triple-Digit Win

The week started off on a strong note, thanks to stimulus chatter from overseas and corporate deal-making

by Karee Venema

Published on Mar 30, 2015 at 4:25 PM
Updated on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:32 PM

The day started off with a bang, as global stimulus chatter and a massive round of M&A activity had bulls champing at the bit. At its highest point, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) had found its way back above the psychologically significant 18,000 mark, but couldn't maintain a foothold through the close. Still, the blue-chip barometer settled with a healthy triple-digit gain -- and took a big chunk out of last week's steep losses.

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA - 17,976.31) spent the whole day in the green. At its session peak, the blue-chip barometer was up 296 points, before settling with a 263.7-point, or 1.5%, gain. All but two of the Dow's 30 components closed higher, led by a 2.6% pop for Boeing Co (NYSE:BA). On the flip side, Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) gave back 1.7%, while Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) ended down 0.02%.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,086.24) closed near its session high, up 25.2 points, or 1.2%, while the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,947.44) added 56.2 points, or 1.2%.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 14.51) brought its losing streak to two, shedding 0.6 point, or 3.7% -- and surrendering its short-term foothold atop 15.

CLOSING SUMMARY – INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY – NYSE AND NASDAQ

5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. There's a ton of economic data packed into the holiday-shortened week, and kicking things off were updates on personal income and spending, as well as pending home sales. Specifically, the Commerce Department said personal income edged up 0.4% in February, while consumer spending rose 0.1%. Elsewhere, the National Association of Realtors reported a 3.1% rise in pending home sales last month, sending the index to 106.9 -- its loftiest reading since June 2013.(FOX Business; USA Today)
  2. Former Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke -- who left the post in January 2014 -- has begun blogging for the Brookings Institution. "Now that I'm a civilian again, I can once more comment on economic and financial issues without my words being put under the microscope by Fed watchers," said Big Ben, who will publish a book on the financial crisis this fall. (Bloomberg)
  3. How these 3 airlines have been affected by crude's volatile price action -- and why consumers aren't reaping the benefits.
  4. 3 notable names preparing for their late-season turns in the earnings confessional.
  5. How to prove your VIX thesis in one easy step, courtesy of Schaeffer's contributor Adam Warner.
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 closed lower for a second straight session, amid a strengthening greenback and reports that a deal over Iran's nuclear program could allow the country to ramp up exports. By the close, crude for May delivery was down 19 cents, or 0.4%, at $48.68 per barrel.

The rising dollar also applied pressure to gold today, with the April-dated contract dropping $15, or 1.3%, to settle at $1,184.80 per ounce.


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