Dow Jones Industrial Average Ends See-Saw Session Higher After Fed; Crude Dives

Fed officials are split on when to lift interest rates

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Apr 8, 2015 at 4:20 PM
Updated on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:32 PM

Trading on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) was choppy, but ultimately resolved to the upside following the release of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting minutes. The minutes revealed that central bank officials are split over the timing of an interest-rate hike -- though language suggested "several" are targeting a June deadline, and increases in core price inflation and wage inflation are not necessarily prerequisites to liftoff. Meanwhile, on the commodities front, crude futures plummeted after data revealed a massive build in U.S. stockpiles last week, wiping out liquid gold's year-to-date gains.

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA - 17,902.51) briefly flirted with a triple-digit lead -- and was down more than 50 points at its post-Fed low -- but ended just 27.1 points, or 0.2%, above the flatline. Twenty of the Dow's 30 components settled in the green, with Nike Inc (NYSE:NKE) leading the way, up 1.2%. Conversely, Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) paced a group of nine blue-chip losers, dropping 2%. Travelers Companies Inc (NYSE:TRV) was unchanged.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,081.90) added 5.6 points, or 0.3%. Besting its peers, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,950.82) popped 40.6 points, or 0.8%, as Chinese tech stocks rallied.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 13.98) lost 0.8 point, or 5.4%, and surrendered its perch atop the 14 mark.

CLOSING SUMMARY – INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY – NYSE AND NASDAQ

5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. The highly anticipated Fed meeting minutes revealed division among central bank leaders about when to raise interest rates. While a number of key policymakers suggested a rate hike in June, others said it will likely occur "later in the year," as low oil prices and a strong greenback keep inflation in check. (USA Today)
  2. A jury found Dzhokhar Tsarnaev guilty of carrying out a terrorist attack at the Boston Marathon in 2013. The ruling paves the way for the next phase of the trial, in which the same jury will determine whether he gets life in prison or the death penalty. (The New York Times)
  3. Second Sight Medical Products Inc (NASDAQ:EYES) surged on trial results from its Visual Cortical Prosthesis.
  4. Why this social media stock got demolished yet again.
  5. Traders wagered on post-earnings downside for this electronics giant.
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:

Oil futures surrendered recent gains, after U.S. stockpiles grew by their biggest week-over-week margin in 14 years. By the close, May-dated crude was down $3.56, or 6.6%, to settle at $50.42 per barrel -- and in negative year-to-date territory.

Gold was pressured lower following the release of the Fed minutes, as traders worried about the possibility of an interest-rate hike as early as June. The June-dated contract dropped $7.50, or 0.6%, to land at $1,203.10 per ounce.


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