Dow Jones Industrial Average Stays Hot; Crude Rallies

Sizing Up 2 Big Names Ahead of Earnings

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Nov 3, 2015 at 4:22 PM

For the second day in a row, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) ​rallied, as crude's surge lifted energy stocks -- including blue chip Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX). Traders also weighed a generally upbeat round of October auto sales against a steeper-than-expected slide in factory orders, ahead of tomorrow's Capitol Hill testimony from Fed Chair Janet Yellen and Friday's key nonfarm payrolls report. Meanwhile, across the pond, European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi said the prospect of further accommodation will be on the table at next month's policy meeting, if necessary. 

Continue reading for more on today's market, including

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA - 17,918.15) was up by as much as 149 points intraday, and came within striking distance of the round 18,000 level, but ultimately settled on a gain of 89.4 points, or 0.5%. Visa Inc (NYSE:V) bounced back from yesterday's drubbing to lead a pack of 19 blue-chip winners, advancing 3.6%. Not far behind was CVX, with a 3.4% pop. Among the 10 losers, UnitedHealth Group Inc (NYSE:UNH) was worst off, down 0.9%. Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) was unchanged.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,109.79) extended its lead above the round 2,100 level, adding 5.7 points, or 0.3%, while the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 5,145.13) tacked on nearly 18 points, or 0.4%.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 14.54) inched 0.4 point, or 2.8%, higher, but came up shy of its 10-day moving average for the ninth straight session.

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5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. September marked the second month of falling new orders for U.S. factory goods, due to a strong dollar and decreased spending from energy companies. Meanwhile, motor vehicle production was up, with auto sales on track for the strongest showing in more than a decade. (Reuters)
  2. If you think inflation is low, wait until you see the price of Thin Mints. Girl Scouts councils in many areas have reported that they will raise the price of cookies by $1 to $5 per box. (CNBC)
  3. AMZN scored some love from analysts, and unveiled a brick-and-mortar bookstore in Seattle -- a seeming reversal of the company's original e-retail model.  
  4. Brokers turned bearish on American International Group Inc (NYSE:AIG) amid plans to cut up to 400 senior-level jobs
  5. Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) rode an M&A-related halo lift, likely spooking bears ahead of tonight's earnings report


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Commodities:

December-dated crude oil closed higher by $1.76, or 3.8%, at $47.90 per barrel. A port blockage in Libya, as well as an oil workers' strike in Brazil, eased concerns about oversupply. 

Gold prices dropped for the fifth consecutive session -- their longest losing streak in more than a month -- with December futures closing at a four-week low of $1,114.10 an ounce, a loss of $21.80, or 1.9%. A stronger dollar and talk of a December rate hike continues to weigh on the malleable metal, but traders will be watching this Friday's nonfarm payrolls report for clues on whether the economy is healthy enough for the Fed to make a move.


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