Dow Jones Industrial Average Notches Number 7; Crude Gets Smacked

3 Blue-Chip Earnings to Watch; Plus, The Social Media Smackdown

by Karee Venema

Published on Oct 12, 2015 at 4:20 PM

As expected, it was a low-volume session on Wall Street today, with the bond market closed for the Columbus Day holiday. In fact, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) tracked a range of less than 75 points, before settling with modest gains -- and extending its longest winning streak of 2015. Elsewhere, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) also ended the day slightly higher -- which could spell additional gains for the broad-market barometer down the road. Volatility is sure to pick up, though, with earnings season getting underway -- and October options expiration to contend with.

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA - 17,131.86) added 47.4 points, or 0.3%, to close at its highest level since Aug. 19. Eighteen of the Dow's components gained ground, led by UnitedHealth Group Inc's (NYSE:UNH) 2.7% pop. Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT) paced the 12 decliners with its 1.1% loss.
 
The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,017.46) rose 2.6 points, or 0.1%, while the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,838.64) tacked on 8.2 points, or 0.2%.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 16.17) shed 0.9 point, or 5.3%, to settle at its session low.

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5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart said that an improving job market would make raising interest rates in 2015 "justifiable." Separately, Chicago Fed President Charles Evans -- who has said he thinks a 2016 increase is "the best choice" -- noted that there is "wiggle room" in terms of the timing of liftoff. (Bloomberg, Reuters)
  2. Ahead of Wednesday's deadline, BUD upped its takeover offer for SABMiller Plc to roughly 67.4 billion pounds, or $103.6 billion. This is the fourth bid the former has put in for the latter -- the most recent of which occurred last week. (Bloomberg)
  3. EMC Corporation (NYSE:EMC) agreed to be bought out by privately held Dell Inc. for roughly $67 billion -- marking the biggest takeover in the technology industry on record.
  4. This EMC affiliate tumbled to a two-year low amid a perfect bearish storm -- but option traders think the worst is yet to come.
  5. Have we seen an end to the ugliness? Schaeffer's contributor Adam Warner offers up his two cents.

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Commodities:

Crude oil got smacked today, amid reports that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) increased production in September. By the close, crude for November delivery was down $2.53, or 5.1%, at $47.10 per barrel -- its steepest one-day loss since Sept. 1.

Gold, meanwhile, jumped, thanks to a cooling greenback. At session's end, December-dated gold was up $8.60, or 0.7%, at $1,164.50 per ounce. This is the malleable metal's highest settlement since July 6.


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