Dow Jones Industrial Average Ends Higher as Housing Trumps Manufacturing

Will the VIX Wake Up Soon? Plus, the Soaring Apple Affiliate

by Andrea Kramer

Published on Aug 17, 2015 at 4:23 PM

Similar to last Wednesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) came back swingin' to climb out of an early triple-digit hole. Wall Street viewed the latest economic data with rose-colored glasses, shrugging off another crude sell-off and ugly manufacturing data out of New York in favor of upbeat housing stats. Now, traders await the next pair of blue-chip earnings, as well as the highly anticipated Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting minutes

 

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

 

 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA - 17,545.18) was down nearly 136 points at its intraday low, but battled back to a 67.8-point, or 0.4%, win. Twenty-three of the Dow's 30 components ended higher, led by UnitedHealth Group Inc's (NYSE:UNH) 2.3% gain. Oil issue Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX) paced the six losers, giving up 2%, while Travelers Companies (NYSE:TRV) finished flat.

 

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,102.44) also recovered from an early swoon, tacking on 10.9 points, or 0.5%, to end back atop the 2,100 level. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 5,091.70) fared the best of its peers, with help from a few biotech names, gaining 43.5 points, or 0.9%. 

 

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 13.02) started strong -- hitting 14.52 out of the gate -- only to settle near a session low, up 0.2 point, or 1.5%.

 

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5 Items on Our Radar Today:

 

  1. Homebuilder sentiment hit its highest level in nearly a decade in August, while New York-area manufacturing fell to a six-year low. The IRS, meanwhile, said the number of taxpayer identities stolen by hackers earlier this year is more than twice the original estimate.  (Reuters; Business Insider; CNBC) 
  2. The Pentagon will increase the number of daily drone flights by 50% over the next four years, according to inside sources, marking the first significant increase since 2011. In related news, former Fed Chair Ben Bernanke opined that military spending cuts could have a long-term negative impact on the economy. (MarketWatch​)
  3. Speaking of the Fed, this former Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS) exec is about to take power
  4. Why Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) CEO Jeff Bezos threw the gauntlet at New York Times Co (NYSE:NYT)
  5. The online retailer that skyrocketed on M&A news.

 

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Commodities:

 

Crude oil slumped amid lingering concerns about global demand, with the September contract giving up 63 cents, or 1.5%, to dock at $41.87 per barrel -- its lowest close since March 2009.

 

Gold futures bounced back from a two-day skid, thanks to a softer dollar. By the close, December-dated gold added $5.70, or 0.5%, to sit at $1,118.40 an ounce.


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