Dow Jones Industrial Average Makes It 5 in a Row, Now Higher for 2016

The $2M Bearish Bet on GE; Plus, More Pain for Ackman

by Kirra Fedyszyn

Published on Mar 17, 2016 at 4:26 PM
Updated on Mar 17, 2016 at 4:29 PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) muscled steadily higher throughout the day, up more than 200 points at its intraday peak, as stocks continued to react to Wednesday's dovish outlook from the Fed. By the close, the Dow marked its fifth consecutive positive finish and another 2016 high, and finally landed in positive year-to-date territory. Oil prices also enjoyed an exceptional day as the dollar fell, with April crude futures closing above $40 per barrel for the first time in more than three months.


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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA - 17,481.49) tacked on 155.7 points, or 0.9%, with GE leading 23 component higher on a 2.6% gain. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) and Merck & Co, Inc. (NYSE:MRK) paced the seven laggards, shedding 0.8% apiece.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,040.59) added 13.4 points, or 0.7%, ending just shy of positive year-to-date territory. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,774.99) climbed 11 points, or 0.2%.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 14.44) dipped 0.6 point, or 3.7%, for its lowest close since November. 

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5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. The Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index turned surprisingly higher in February, surging to 12.4 from negative 2.8 the month prior. This marks the index's first time above zero since August 2015, and exceeded expectations for a rise to negative 0.5. (MarketWatch)

  2. Google parent company Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) has reportedly put Boston Dynamics -- a division that specializes in robotics -- up for sale. Reports say Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Toyota Motor Corp (ADR) (NYSE:TM) have been pegged as possible buyers. (Reuters via CNBC)

  3. The M&A rumors delighting Office Depot Inc (NASDAQ:ODP) option bulls.

  4. Nike Inc (NYSE:NKE) sparked bullish betting without even tying its shoes.

  5. Which traders are taking a shine to this jeweler ahead of earnings?


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Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Commodities:

Crude oil for April added $1.74, or 4.5%, to settle at $40.20 a barrel -- its first close above $40 since Dec. 3. A weaker dollar after Wednesday's Fed comments, along with rising expectations for a crude output freeze, helped to keep the commodity moving higher throughout the session.

An ailing post-Fed greenback also gave gold a boost. Gold for April delivery ended the day up $35.20, or 2.9%, at $1,265.00 an ounce.


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