Dow Jones Industrial Average Notches Second Straight Triple-Digit Gain

6 Stocks to Watch in August

by Karee Venema

Published on Jul 29, 2015 at 4:27 PM

Despite a momentary slip into the red at the open following a round of disappointing earnings, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) spent the entire session in the green. Although the index pared a portion of these gains as Wall Street digested the latest policy statement from the Fed -- which left the door open for a possible September rate hike -- buyers stepped in during the final stretch to push the DJI to a second consecutive triple-digit gain. Tomorrow, the case for an impending rate hike could be further strengthened with the advance reading on second-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) due. Additionally, social media stocks will continue to demand attention, with earnings from Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) and LinkedIn Corp (NYSE:LNKD) in focus.

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

 

 

It was a fifth straight triple-digit day for the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA - 17,751.39), with the 30-stock index tracking a nearly 148-point range -- and settling with a 121.1-point, or 0.7%, gain. Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) led the 26 advancers with its 2.1% pop, following the launch of Windows 10. DuPont (NYSE:DD), meanwhile, paced the three decliners with its 0.8% loss. UnitedHealth Group Inc (NYSE:UNH) was unchanged.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,108.57) added 15.3 points, or 0.7%, and closed back above the 2,100 mark for the first time since last Thursday. Elsewhere, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 5,111.73) tacked on 22.5 points, or 0.4%.

 

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 12.50) shed 0.9 point, or 7%, to close at its lowest level in a week.

 

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5 Items on Our Radar Today:

 

  1. In its latest monetary policy update, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) voted unanimously to leave interest rates unchanged. However, the central bank said the economy was "expanding moderately" following a first-quarter slowdown, and the "underutilization of labor resources has diminished since early this year" -- although it is still looking for "further improvement in the labor market." (Reuters via Schaeffer's Investment Research)
  2. David Taylor -- current president of PG's global beauty, grooming and healthcare division -- will replace A.G. Lafley as CEO, effective Nov. 1. Lafley will remain chairman of the board. (USA Today)
  3. TWTR hit an annual low of $31.06 in intraday action, after discouraging comments from the company's CEO -- and a round of downbeat analyst attention -- pressured the shares.
  4. Schaeffer's contributor Adam Warner offered up a quick lesson in how to play China with options.
  5. A disappointing turn in the earnings confessional sent Yelp Inc (NYSE:YELP) tumbling to levels not seen in more than two years.

 

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Commodities:

 

Crude oil popped today -- notching its second-biggest daily percentage gain of the month -- following a bigger-than-expected drop in inventories. At session's end, crude for September delivery was up 81 cents, or 1.7%, at $48.79 per barrel.

 

Uncertainty surrounding the Fed's next rate hike sent the dollar higher -- and gold lower today. By the close, August-dated gold was off $3.60, or 0.3%, at $1,092.60 per ounce. After the Fed statement, however, gold turned higher in electronic trading.

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