Dow Jones Industrial Average Jumps 222 Points; Nasdaq Outperforms

2 Biotechs Making Big Moves

Feb 16, 2016 at 4:30 PM
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Despite a drop in oil prices, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) clawed its way to a healthy triple-digit gain amid widespread bargain hunting. Crude futures initially rallied on hopes of a global production freeze from major oil exporters, but backpedaled by the close. Financial stocks were among the best performers, in spite of relatively radical comments from new Minnesota Fed President Neel Kashkari, and a surge in tech stocks helped the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) outperform its peers.


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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA - 16,196.41) closed up 222.6 points, or 1.4%, to settle at its session high. Twenty-eight of the Dow's 30 components gained ground, led by Boeing Co's (NYSE:BA) 3.7% pop. Travelers Companies Inc (NYSE:TRV) and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) were the two decliners, shedding 0.1% and 0.4%, respectively.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,895.58) closed just shy of its intraday peak -- up 30.8 points, or 1.7%. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,435.96) put forth the best effort, though, tacking on 98.4 points, or 2.3%.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 24.11) gave back 1.3 points, or 5.1% -- but found a foothold atop its 30-day moving average.


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5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. After advancing in January, the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo housing market index dropped to 58 in February -- more than economists were projecting. Elsewhere on the economic front, manufacturing activity in the New York region contracted for a seventh straight month. (MarketWatch; FOX Business)

  2. In his first public speech as head of the Minneapolis Federal Reserve, former Goldman Sachs exec Neel Kashkari called out to Congress to break up big banks, by "going further than Dodd-Frank with bold, transformational solutions." Elsewhere, Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker gave his two dovish cents on interest rates, saying, "it might prove prudent to wait until the inflation data are stronger before we undertake a second rate hike." (Reuters; Bloomberg)

  3. Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) got a double-barreled boost today on news of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd's (NYSE:BABA) newest investment -- and reports of a historic streaming partnership with Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A).

  4.  J.P Morgan Securities waxed optimistic on financial stocks Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS) and Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS), calling the former a "top pick."

  5. Community Health Systems (NYSE:CYH) tumbled to multi-year lows after a disappointing earnings report and subsequent round of bearish brokerage notes.


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  Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Commodities:

Crude oil futures took a turn for the worse in intraday action, after it was reported that Iran would not join Russia, Saudi Arabia, and a number of other countries in freezing crude oil output at near-record January levels. At the close, crude for March delivery was off 40 cents, or 1.4%, at $29.04 per barrel.

Gold lost some of its luster today, as traders poured into riskier assets. A bearish outlook from Goldman Sachs -- which called the recent gold rally "overstated" -- also pressured the precious metal. By session's end, April-dated gold was down $31.20, or 2.5%, at $1,208.20 per ounce. It was gold's biggest one-day dollar drop since last March.


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