Dow Jones Industrial Average Ekes Out a Record Win Ahead of Fed

2 Oil Stocks Taking It On the Chin; Plus, the Lotto Stock That Hit the Jackpot

May 19, 2015 at 4:18 PM
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Another day, another record high for the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) and S&P 500 Index (SPX). However, despite reaching these historic milestones, both benchmarks cooled their jets by the close -- the Dow pressured by post-earnings dips for blue chips Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) and Home Depot Inc (NYSE:HD). In addition, traders eyed a soaring greenback, which pressured dollar-denominated assets like gold and crude. On the economic front, strong housing construction data exacerbated concerns the Fed may choose to lift interest rates sooner rather than later, while the Street's on pins and needles ahead of tomorrow afternoon's Fed meeting minutes.


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



The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA - 18,312.39) hit a record high of 18,351.36, and settled on a gain of 13.5 points, or 0.1%. Nineteen of the Dow's 30 components ended higher, paced by a 2.7% advance by McDonald's Corporation (NYSE:MCD). WMT paced the 11 blue-chip laggards, falling 4.4%.


The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,127.82) also raced to an all-time best of 2,133.02, but ultimately ended on a loss of 1.4 points, or 0.1%. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 5,070.03) dipped 8.4 points, or 0.2%.


The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 12.85) ended a see-saw session 0.1 point, or 0.9%, above breakeven. It was the fourth consecutive sub-13 finish for the market's "fear gauge."






5 Items on Our Radar Today:


  1. April housing starts grew at the fastest pace since November 2007, increasing 20.2% from a month prior to hit an annual rate of 1.135 million, according to the Commerce Department. Building permits likewise jumped 10.1% to an annualized pace of 1.143 million -- its highest mark in nearly seven years. (Los Angeles Times)
  2. Japanese airbag manufacturer Takata is nearly doubling the size of its recall to 34 million vehicles. The recall -- prompted by a rash of exploding airbags that caused injuries and several deaths -- is the largest ever in automotive history. (CNNMoney)
  3. Will Yingli Green Energy Hold. Co. Ltd. (NYSE:YGE) survive? These call buyers think so.
  4. MannKind Corporation (NASDAQ:MNKD) continues to bounce back from recent lows, but skepticism remains.
  5. Stifel's mea culpa sent shares of this drugmaker sharply higher.










Crude futures staggered to their lowest settlement in a month, pressured by a stronger dollar and indications the U.S. and Saudi Arabia are increasing production. At the close, June crude was down $2.17, or 3.7%, at $57.26 per barrel.


The greenback also weighed on gold, which pulled back from a three-month high and snapped a five-day winning streak. Specifically, June-dated futures shed $20.90, or 1.7%, to land at $1,206.70 per ounce.



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