Dow Jones Industrial Average Blasts Higher as Blue Chips Impress

Existing home sales soared to their highest perch in 18 months

by Karee Venema

Published on Apr 22, 2015 at 4:21 PM
Updated on Apr 22, 2015 at 4:36 PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) got off to a shaky start today, but bolted into the black in late-morning morning trading. Lifting the blue-chip barometer was Visa Inc (NYSE:V), which catapulted higher on encouraging news out of China. In addition, a pair of upbeat earnings reports from fellow blue chips McDonald's Corporation (NYSE:MCD) and The Coca-Cola Co (NYSE:KO) helped the Dow's ascent, offsetting lackluster figures from Boeing Co (NYSE:BA). Against this backdrop -- and thanks in part to some encouraging housing stats -- the major market indexes ended comfortably higher, with the Dow climbing back atop 18,000.

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA - 18,038.27) traded in a 168-point range, before settling up 88.7 points, or 0.5%. Twenty-four of the Dow's 30 components gained ground, led by V's 4.1% pop. BA paced the seven decliners with its 1.4% loss.

Likewise, the S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,107.96) spent time south of breakeven today, before muscling to a 10.7-point, or 0.5%, win. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 5,035.17), meanwhile, extended its lead north of the 5,000 mark, adding 21.1 points, or 0.4%.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 12.71) shed 0.5 point, or 4.1%, and surrendered its short-term foothold north of 13.

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5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. Sales of existing homes jumped to their highest level since September 2013 in March. Specifically, the National Association of Realtors said home resales surged 6.1% to an annual rate of 5.19 million units, exceeding economists' estimate for a rate of 5.03 million units. (Reuters)
  2. Ahead of tomorrow night's first-quarter earnings report, GOOGL said today it has thrown its hat into the wireless ring. Specifically, the tech titan unveiled a new domestic wireless service, dubbed Project Fi, that will cost $20 per month at its basic level, and requires subscribers to only pay for the data they use. (USA Today)
  3. Fast-food names were in focus today, with Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE:YUM) making a notable milestone in the wake of its quarterly results, and Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE:CMG) slumping after it reported.
  4. How EMC Corporation (NYSE:EMC) and sister VMware, Inc. (NYSE:VMW) fared post-earnings.
  5. Schaeffer's Senior Quantitative Analyst Rocky White explored the significance of earnings season.

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Commodities:

Crude oil closed lower today, as traders weighed a mixed domestic inventories report. Specifically, although stockpiles increased for a 15th consecutive week, output declined by more than expected. At session's end, crude for June delivery -- the new front-month contract -- was down 45 cents, or 0.8%, at $56.16 per barrel.

Gold headed south, as an upbeat reading on the housing market and a pop in the broader equities market lessened the metal's safe-haven appeal. By the close, June-dated gold was off $16.20, or 1.3%, at $1,186.90 per ounce.


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