Dow Jones Industrial Average Stages Impressive Reversal; Crude Soars

For a second straight month, Saudi Arabia is raising oil prices for Asia

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Apr 6, 2015 at 4:22 PM
Updated on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:32 PM

It was a wild day of trading, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) swung from a triple-digit deficit to a triple-digit advance in the blink of an eye. At the session's start, Friday's lackluster jobs report pressured U.S. stocks sharply lower, but by mid-morning, investors changed their tune toward the data -- hopeful that it could help delay the Fed's eventual interest-rate hike. Echoing this, New York Fed President William Dudley said the timing of a rate increase will be data-dependent. Meanwhile, energy stocks led the S&P 500 Index (SPX) higher, amid news of Saudi Arabia's price hike for Asia and subsiding fears surrounding a potential influx of Iranian oil.

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA - 17,880.85) was down by as many as 116.4 points today, but quickly swung higher to finish with a gain of 117.6 points, or 0.7%. Twenty-five of the Dow's 30 components ended north of the flatline, led by Microsoft Corporation's (NASDAQ:MSFT) 3.1% advance. Leading the five losers was Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), which slipped 0.5%.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,080.62) added 13.7 points, or 0.7%, while the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,917.32) tacked on 30.4 points, or 0.6%.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 14.74) settled just north of breakeven, adding 0.07 point, or 0.5%. For the second straight session, the market's "fear gauge" fell short of the 15 level.



5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. New York Fed President William Dudley responded to bipartisan criticism of the Empire State's central bank branch, which a number of politicians have said is too powerful and too aligned with Wall Street. "I believe that the Federal Reserve System's monetary policy responsibilities are allocated appropriately by the Federal Open Market Committee, with New York playing an important role to ensure that monetary policy is executed effectively even during periods of duress," Dudley remarked. (Bloomberg)
  2. The Institute for Supply Management's (ISM) non-manufacturing index declined to its lowest level since December, indicating growth in the services sector slowed last month. However, the exports index rose to its highest level in over two years, in spite of a strong dollar. (CNBC)
  3. The achievement that lifted TSLA back above $200, and had option bulls champing at the bit.
  4. Why Zillow Group Inc (NASDAQ:Z) fell out of triple-digit territory.
  5. Three notable names being targeted by short-term options traders.

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




Crude soared after leading exporter Saudi Arabia raised its prices for buyers in Asia for a second consecutive month, hinting at healthy demand. By the close, the May-dated contract was up 3%, or 6.1%, at $52.14 per barrel -- the loftiest close for a most-active contract since mid-February.

Gold rallied in the wake of Friday's disappointing nonfarm payrolls report, as well as today's ISM services index. By day's end, gold for June delivery added $17.70, or 1.5%, to land at $1,218.60 per ounce.

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