Nasdaq Makes History; Dow Jones Industrial Average Defies the Odds

COMP's Record Day; Plus, 2 Earnings Reports Everyone Was Talking About

by Karee Venema

Published on Apr 23, 2015 at 4:35 PM

The odds were stacked against the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) today, with poorly received earnings from a pair of blue chips and a round of uninspiring economic data weighing on the index in early trading. The 30-stock index began fighting back around midday, though, and was up almost 100 points at its intraday high. The action elsewhere on the Street was even more notable, with the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) closing at its highest perch on record -- and notching a fresh 15-year intraday peak along the way. Looking ahead, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) should garner some attention tomorrow, with the blue-chip tech titan's Apple Watch officially set for release.

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA - 18,058.69) traded in a 166-point range, and eventually settled up 20.4 points, or 0.1%. Seventeen of the Dow's 30 components closed higher, with IBM's (NYSE:IBM) 3% pop leading the charge. 3M Co (NYSE:MMM) paced the 13 decliners with its 3% post-earnings loss.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,112.93) also explored both sides of breakeven today, before closing with a 5-point, or 0.2%, gain, while the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 5,056.06) tacked on 20.9 points, or 0.4%. What's more, the SPX hit a record intraday high of 2,120.49, while the COMP found a 15-year peak at 5,073.09.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 12.48) shed 0.2 point, or 1.8%, and notched its fourth consecutive close south of its 10-day moving average.

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5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. Initial jobless claims jumped to a seasonally adjusted 295,000 last week -- a third consecutive weekly advance -- above economists' estimate for a rise of 290,000. Elsewhere, sales of new homes plunged 11.4% last month -- their heftiest percentage drop since July 2013 -- while a preliminary reading on factory activity fell to 54.2 in April, versus an estimate of 55.5. (CNBC; Reuters)
  2. After being nominated by President Barack Obama last November, Loretta Lynch was finally confirmed to become the next attorney general -- the first African-American woman to hold the post. The vote was 56-43 in favor of Lynch replacing current Attorney General Eric Holder. (Bloomberg)
  3. The options market is pricing in some notable post-earnings swings for these 3 popular stocks.
  4. This former Dow component popped after its quarterly results were met with some upbeat attention from the brokerage bunch.
  5. Who else is to blame for the flash crash? Schaeffer's contributor Adam Warner takes a closer look.

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Commodities:

Crude erased all of yesterday's losses amid reports Saudi Arabia is escalating attacks in Yemen. By the close, crude for June delivery was up $1.58, or 2.8%, to $57.74 per barrel -- its highest settlement in 2015.

A cooling dollar and batch of uninspiring economic data helped buoy gold today. At session's end, June-dated gold was up $7.40, or 0.6%, at $1,194.30 per ounce.


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