Dow Jones Industrial Average Muscles North Ahead of Fed

Twitter's Crucial Leak; Plus, Could This Stock Soon Be Worthless?

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Apr 28, 2015 at 4:23 PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) overcame an early dip and a round of ho-hum economic data to settle with a solid win, ahead of the Federal Open Market Committee's (FOMC) highly anticipated policy statement, scheduled for release tomorrow afternoon. Helping the blue-chip index higher was a tremendous performance from Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK), which exploded on a raft of encouraging headlines. Meanwhile, all eyes were on Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), which settled lower despite better-than-expected earnings -- but not before touching a fresh record high -- and Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR), which was halted after a crucial leak.

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA - 18,110.14) traded in a more than 200-point range, and settled on a gain of 72.2 points, or 0.4%. Nineteen of the Dow's 30 components ended higher, paced by a 5% advance by MRK. AAPL reversed lower after early gains to finish 1.6% south of breakeven, pacing the 10 blue-chip losers. American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) was unchanged.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,114.76) successfully tested the 2,100 level, and ended 5.8 points, or 0.3%, higher. However, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 5,055.42) wasn't so lucky, sliding 4.8 points, or 0.1%.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 12.41) dipped 0.7 point, or 5.4%, after being rejected by its 50-day moving average.

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5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. A cargo ship called the M/V Maersk Tigris was intercepted by Iran Revolutionary Guard patrol boats while crossing the Strait of Hormuz today. While the Pentagon denied earlier reports that American citizens are on board the vessel, the U.S. military is responding to the Tigris' distress call, based on a treaty the U.S. has with the Marshall Islands -- from which the ship originates. (CNN)
  2. The Conference Board's consumer confidence index dropped to its lowest level since December -- marking a third consecutive monthly decline in consumers' outlook on the economy. Elsewhere, the S&P 500/Case-Shiller home price index revealed price growth among single-family homes slowed in February, compared to January. (The Christian Science Monitor; Forbes)
  3. Inside this big bearish bet on struggling Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F).
  4. This stock lost nearly one-third of its value in the wake of earnings-induced bearish brokerage attention.
  5. United Parcel Services, Inc. (NYSE:UPS) muscled back into triple-digit territory, following the firm's solid first-quarter results.
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Commodities:

Crude spent time on both sides of the flatline, as traders digested the capture of the M/V Maersk Tigris and geared up for a pair of weekly inventories reports. By the close, the June-dated contract was 7 cents, or 0.1%, higher, at $57.06 per barrel.

Gold futures were bolstered by a largely lackluster round of economic data, as well as pre-FOMC weakness in the dollar. June-dated gold added $10.70, or 0.9%, to settle at $1,213.90 per ounce.


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