Dow Jones Industrial Average Jumps Ahead of Fed, Earnings Season

25 Stocks to Avoid in 4Q; Plus, Behind GoPro's Record Low

by Karee Venema

Published on Oct 7, 2015 at 4:31 PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) tracked a nearly 200-point trading range today. Although the blue-chip barometer spent time on both sides of breakeven, the action eventually resolved to the upside, as a rebound in biotechs outweighed pressure from the energy sector. Elsewhere, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) came within a chip-shot of toppling the critical 2,000 mark for the first time since mid-September, while the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) extended its year-to-date lead.

Looking ahead, the rest of the week should be a busy one. Not only will traders be dissecting the minutes from the September Fed meeting with a fine-toothed comb, they'll also be contemplating the unofficial start of earnings season.

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA - 16,912.29) was down 25 points at midday, before muscling back to a 122.1-point, or 0.7%, gain. The Dow has ended higher four sessions in a row, marking its best winning streak since July. Twenty-five of the Dow's 30 components closed higher, led by Merck & Co., Inc.'s (NYSE:MRK) 2.3% pop. Nike Inc (NYSE:NKE) paced the five decliners with its 0.9% drop.
 
The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,995.83) came within one point of toppling the 2,000 mark in intraday action, and settled up 15.9 points, or 0.8%. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,791.15), meanwhile, outperformed its peers, adding 42.8 points, or 0.9%.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 18.40) shed 1 point, or 5.2%, to close at its lowest perch since Aug. 20.

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5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. NOK unveiled a number of managerial and organizational updates to its planned takeover of Alcatel Lucent SA (ADR) (NYSE:ALU). Specifically, NOK plans to combine managers from both firms, with the combined company creating four groups -- Mobile Networks, Fixed Networks, Applications & Analytics, and IP/Optical Networks. The acquisition is expected to be completed in the first half of 2016. (MarketWatch)
  2. Bill Ackman's disdain for HLF has been fodder for the Street for some time, and today, the activist investor said he has "lots of new stuff, none I can report," and to "stay tuned." The comments were enough to send HLF down 7.4%, while sector peer Nu Skin Enterprises, Inc. (NYSE:NUS) plunged on a dismal forecast.
  3. Schaeffer's contributor Adam Warner took a closer look at the "insider trading" allegations levied against one DraftKings employee.
  4. This cybersecurity name got a lift after unveiling its newest acquisition.
  5. How Saudi Arabian royalty helped prop up Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR).

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Commodities:

Crude oil erased an early lead, after the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported a surprise climb in weekly inventories and domestic production. At the close, November-dated crude was down 72 cents, or 1.5%, at $47.81 per barrel -- black gold's first loss in four sessions.

Gold futures rose for a fourth straight day, with gold for December delivery settling up $2.30, or 0.2%, at $1,148.70 per ounce.


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