Dow Jones Industrial Average Clings to Lead Ahead of Pivotal Payrolls Report

3 Picks for Bargain-Hunting Bulls

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Sep 3, 2015 at 4:19 PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) flirted with triple-digit gains early, and despite an afternoon retreat, held on for a second straight daily win. Throughout the session, traders digested a mixed round of economic data -- including a bigger-than-expected rise in jobless claims -- a surge in oil prices, and dovish comments from European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi. Now, Wall Street is on pins and needles ahead of tomorrow's highly anticipated August payrolls report, which could have major rate-hike implications.

 

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

 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA - 16,374.76) was up by nearly 200 points at its intraday peak, but settled on a 23.4-point, or 0.1%, advance. Twenty-one of the Dow's 30 components gained ground, with Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) leading the way, up 1.7%. On the flip side, Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT) paced the pack of nine losers, falling 2.2%.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,951.13) added 2.3 points, or 0.1%. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,733.50) rallied into positive year-to-date territory this morning, before retreating to a 16.5-point, or 0.4%, loss.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 25.61) slid 0.5 point, or 1.8%, spending almost the entire session south of the flatline.

 

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5 Items on Our Radar Today:

 

  1. Filings for first-time unemployment benefits increased more than expected last week, to a seasonally adjusted 282,000, the Labor Department said. Elsewhere on the economic front, service sector expansion retreated from a 10-year high last month -- though by a smaller-than-anticipated margin --  while the U.S. trade deficit fell to a five-month low of $41.9 billion, lower than the consensus estimate. (Reuters, via CNBC; Business Insider)
  2. Republican presidential candidate -- and surprise front-runner -- Donald Trump signed a pledge not to run as an independent or write-in candidate, should he fail to secure the party's nomination. By signing the document, Trump also promised to "endorse the 2016 Republican presidential nominee regardless of who it is." (NPR)
  3. How these "10 Commandments" apply to options trading -- and fantasy football.
  4. The drugmaker that reaped big rewards from buyout news.
  5. Why today's analyst-induced losses may be just the tip of the iceberg for this retailer.

 

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Commodities:

 

Crude oil posted its fifth win in six sessions -- spiking by as much as 4% -- amid hopes that future ECB stimulus measures could spark energy demand. However, oil pared its gains amid the stock market's late-day troubles, with the October-dated contract settling up a more modest 50 cents, or 1.1%, at $46.75 per barrel.

 

Gold futures slipped to their lowest settlement in a week, as the dollar strengthened and global markets breathed a collective sigh of relief amid the start of China's long holiday weekend. December-dated gold lost $9.10, or 0.8%, to finish at $1,124.50 per ounce.

 


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