Dow Jones Industrial Average Rallies on Fed's Dovish Rate-Hike Forecast

Key Levels Tesla Traders Are Targeting; Plus, 3 Gold Stocks to Watch

by Kirra Fedyszyn

Published on Mar 16, 2016 at 4:26 PM
Updated on Mar 16, 2016 at 4:28 PM

After a relatively quiet start to the day, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) moved sharply higher following the conclusion of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting. The Fed opted to stand pat on interest rates, and the latest "dot plot" showed FOMC members are now targeting only two rate hikes this year -- down from four after the historic December meeting. The news sent stocks soaring in late trading, with the Dow up more than 127 points at its intraday peak.


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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA - 17,325.76) added 74.2 points, or 0.4%, to close at a 2016 best. Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT) led the 22 advancing blue chips higher, gaining 2.6%, while Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) paced the eight laggards -- and marked day three at the bottom -- with a 1.7% loss.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,027.22) climbed 11.3 points, or 0.6%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,763.97) finished 35.3 points, or 0.8%, higher. Like the Dow, the SPX finished at a year-to-date high close.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 14.99) slipped 1.9 points, or roughly 11%. The VIX notched its lowest daily close since Dec. 4.

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5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. President Obama officially nominated Merrick Garland, chief judge of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, for the vacant position on the Supreme Court. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says Congress will stand by its decision to not consider the nomination until after the next president is elected. (CNBC)

  2. Midwestern restaurant chain Pizza Ranch is the latest company to report a multi-state string of food-borne illness cases. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has linked at least nine cases of E. coli to the restaurant, but says that the outbreak is already over. (CNBC)

  3. The latest drugmaker taking a beating from short seller Citron Research.

  4. Two retailers winning big in 2016.

  5. The $5 billion threat spooking Caesars Entertainment Corp (NASDAQ:CZR) traders.


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Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Commodities:

Crude oil moved higher throughout the day, and notched a sharp surge following the FOMC's afternoon announcement. Today's inventories report from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed U.S. stockpiles growing by half the expected level, while gasoline supplies fell. Crude futures for April delivery finished up $2.12, or 5.8%, at $38.46 a barrel.

April-dated gold futures closed the regular session down $1.20, or 0.1%, at $1,229.80 per ounce. However, a steep drop in the U.S. dollar in the wake of the Fed statement pushed gold futures comfortably higher in electronic trading.


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