Dow Jones Industrial Average Ends Week on M&A-Inspired Bang

A number of health care stocks made big moves on news

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Apr 10, 2015 at 4:21 PM
Updated on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:32 PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) closed out the week with a bang, taking out the 18,000 millennium level on an M&A-inspired rally by General Electric Company (NYSE:GE). GE wasn't the only blue chip making waves, as Apple Inc.'s (NASDAQ:AAPL) highly anticipated Apple Watch (sort of) hit the shelves. Elsewhere, the S&P 500 Index flirted with the key 2,100 level, while the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) rallied on strength among biotechs.

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA - 18,057.65) spent almost the entire day north of breakeven, and finished 98.9 points, or 0.6%, higher -- easily taking out the 18,000 mark. Twenty-four of the Dow's 30 components gained, with GE leaving its peers in the dust, up 10.8%. Nike Inc (NYSE:NKE) paced the group of six blue-chip decliners, slipping 0.7%. For the week, the Dow added 1.7%.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,102.06) rose 10.9 points, or 0.5%, and settled slightly above the key 2,100 level for the first time since March 23. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,995.98) similarly gained 21.4 points, or 0.4%, and is now within a chip-shot of 5,000. On a weekly basis, the SPX and COMP rallied 1.7% and 2.2%, respectively.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 12.58) dropped 0.5 point, or 3.9%, bringing its weekly decline to 14.2%. The market's "fear gauge" also settled below 13 for the first time since early December.

CLOSING SUMMARY – INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY – NYSE AND NASDAQ

5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. U.S. import prices slipped 0.3% in March, as expected, as a stronger dollar and lower crude prices kept a lid on inflation. Also, export prices rose 0.1% -- their first monthly gain since last July. (Reuters)
  2. Minneapolis Fed President Narayana Kocherlakota repeated his message for the central bank to delay raising interest rates until the second half of next year. On the flip side, Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker pushed for a June rate hike, assuming economic reports don't "diverge substantially from projections." (Reuters; Reuters via CNBC)
  3. Amid a raft of M&A news, BX saw heavy interest in long-term calls.
  4. Despite its technical weakness, GoPro Inc (NASDAQ:GPRO) remains a favorite among option bulls.
  5. M&A rumblings sent this telecom stock sharply higher, provoking interest among short-term speculators.
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 muscled higher after the number of operational U.S. oil rigs dropped to the lowest level since December 2010. By the close, the May-dated contract was up 85 cents, or 1.7%, to settle at $51.64 per barrel. On a week-over-week basis, oil rose 5.1%.

Gold ended its three-day losing streak today, but gains were contained by ongoing rate-hike fears and a stronger dollar. At session's end, gold for June delivery was $11, or 0.9%, higher, at $1,204.60 per ounce. For the week, the malleable metal tacked on 0.3%.


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