Dow Jones Industrial Average Muscles Back Into Positive 2015 Territory

Will Climate Talks Heat Up These 3 Solar Stocks?

by Kirra Fedyszyn

Published on Dec 1, 2015 at 4:38 PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) started December on the right foot, with healthcare components leading the index into positive year-to-date territory. On the economic front, construction spending rose more than expected and automakers reported strong sales for November. In addition, traders seemingly shrugged off lackluster manufacturing data, with the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) index hitting a six-year low, and dropping into contraction territory for the first time in three years. 

Continue reading for more on today's market, including

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA - 17,888.35) added 168.4 points, or 1%, as 27 of the 30 Dow components ended the day in the black. The biggest winners included UnitedHealth Group Inc (NYSE:UNH), up 3.1%, followed by Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) and Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE), with gains of well over 2% each.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,102.63) finished 22.2 points, or 1.1 % higher, also helped along by healthcare, and topping the round-number 2,100 level. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 5,156.31) started the month ahead, as well, climbing 47.6 points, or 0.9% for the day.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 14.67) dropped 1.5 points, or 9.1%, to notch its lowest daily close since Nov. 6.

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5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. A pipe bomb exploded on an overpass near Istanbul earlier today, injuring five people and possibly killing one. The explosive, found outside the entrance to a metro station, halted subway services, The Associated Press said. (​CNBC​)
  2. Puerto Rico managed to make its crucial Dec. 1 bond payment, avoiding a second default. The U.S. territory first defaulted in August, and a second default may have sparked lawsuits. (Reuters)
  3. Amazon.com, Inc. (NYSE:AMZN) reported record electronic device sales for the Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend.
  4. How these three casino stocks flew in the face of ugly data out of Macau.
  5. Looking to make a bullish bet in December? Check out these historic outperformers.


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Commodities:

After struggling for direction, January-dated crude oil managed to finish the day with a gain of 20 cents, or 0.5%, at $41.85 a barrel. Worries over the ongoing global supply glut and concerns ahead of an Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) meeting were overshadowed by a weaker dollar.

Waning strength in the dollar was not enough to boost gold, as investors remain cautious ahead of a European Central Bank (ECB) meeting and the nonfarm payrolls report. February-dated gold futures ended down $1.80, or 0.2%, at $1,063.50 an ounce.


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