Dow Jones Industrial Average Surges 224 on Fed D-Day

Fed Pulls Trigger; Plus, 3 Stocks Heating Up Ahead of Star Wars

by Kirra Fedyszyn

Published on Dec 16, 2015 at 4:31 PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) finished in the black for a third straight day, rocketing to another triple-digit win after the Fed hiked interest rates for the first time in nine years. During a news conference following the meeting, Fed Chair Janet Yellen stated that the pace of future interest rate hikes would remain dependent on data, but said the boost should be viewed as a sign of confidence. The S&P 500 Index (SPX) climbed back into positive year-to-date territory, even as oil resumed its slump.

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA - 17,749.09) added 224.2 points, or 1.3%, as Goldman Sachs Group (NYSE:GS) led 28 of the 30 blue-chip components higher with a gain of 2.3%. DuPont (NYSE:DD) and Exxon Mobil Company (NYSE:XOM) were the lone losers on the board, shedding a slim 0.4% apiece.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,073.07) regained its year-to-date lead, climbing 29.7 points, or 1.5%, thanks to continued strength in utilities. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 5,071.13) gained 75.8 points, or 1.5%, topping the round 5,000 level, and bringing its 2015 gains over 7%.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 17.86) dropped 3.1 points, or 14.8%, to hit its lowest close in over a week.

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5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. As expected, the Fed made the decision to raise interest rates by 25 basis points -- the first time rates have been increased since June 2006. In a post-meeting statement, the committee said the overall economic policy would remain "accommodative" with an aim to support "further improvements in labor market conditions and a return to 2 percent inflation." (CNBC)

  2. Members of Congress agreed to lift the 40-year ban on oil exports, adding the issue to the $1.15 trillion spending bill that must be approved by both Congress and the president. The deal also includes the adoption of measures to increase renewable energy funding, helping it gain support from Democrats. (MarketWatch)

  3. Why bullish activity heated up on these solar stocks.

  4. Meanwhile, this energy interest surged alongside an analyst upgrade.

  5. Analysts aren't optimistic about Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone sales.


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Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Commodities:

January crude oil settled $1.83, or 4.9%, lower at $35.52 a barrel -- a fresh six-year low -- resuming its slide after a two-day bounce. U.S. data showed a significant build in inventories, sparking fresh concerns over a glut.

February-dated gold finished up $15.20, or 1.4%, at $1,076.80 an ounce. Even after the Fed announcement, the malleable metal remained steady.


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