Dow Jones Industrial Average Storms Higher With Oil, Healthcare

Bill Ackman's 'Investable' Biotech; Plus, a Tesla Short Squeeze

by Karee Venema

Published on Apr 6, 2016 at 4:28 PM
Updated on Apr 6, 2016 at 4:35 PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) traded on both sides of breakeven today, before settling near its session highs. Stocks reacted to surging crude futures, as well as the release of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) March meeting minutes. Echoing recent comments by Fed Chair Janet Yellen -- who is slated to take the mic again tomorrow -- the minutes showed many central bankers took a guarded stance against raising interest rates too soon. Meanwhile, biotechs helped buoy the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) and broader S&P 500 Index (SPX), with newly single Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) leading the blue chips.

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA - 17,716.05) explored a 181-point range today, eventually settling up 112.7 points, or 0.6%. PFE led the 24 Dow advancers with its 5% gain, while General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) paced the six decliners with its 0.3% loss.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,066.66) dipped below breakeven at the open, before muscling to a 21.5-point, or 1.1%, gain. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,920.72) outperformed its peers, though, surging 76.8 points, or 1.6%.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 14.09) plunged 1.3 points, or 8.6%, and surrendered its short-term foothold north of its 20-day moving average.

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5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. According to the minutes from the latest FOMC meeting, several members support waiting until June to consider raising interest rates, given the uncertainty surrounding the global economy. Specifically, the minutes noted that "the global economic and financial situation still posed appreciable downside risks," and that an April rate hike "would signal a sense of urgency they did not think appropriate." (CNBC)
  2. Just two days after the Treasury Department unveiled new rules to halt corporate tax inversions, the Department of Labor today announced a list of new guidelines -- called fiduciary regulations -- aimed at protecting consumers in the retirement planning process. The regulations will require financial professionals to prioritize the consumer's needs over their own financial goals, and will go into effect Jan. 1, 2018. (MarketWatch)
  3. Allergan plc Ordinary Shares (NYSE:AGN) and Pfizer officially called it quits on their $160 billion merger plans due to regulatory hurdles. AGN managed to brush off the breakup -- and a round of bearish brokerage attention -- to settle 3.3% higher.
  4. A postmortem on Monsanto Company (NYSE:MON) and Acuity Brands, Inc. (NYSE:AYI) earnings.
  5. A feud between these two tech firms had option bulls buzzing.


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Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Commodities:

Crude futures soared, after the Energy Information Administration said domestic crude inventories surprisingly fell last week -- the biggest for the week of April 1 since 1997 -- while demand among refineries jumped. Against this bullish backdrop, crude for May delivery jumped $1.86, or 5.2%, to $37.75 per barrel.

Gold futures fell, as traders' risk appetite improved. By the close, June-dated gold was off $5.80, or 0.5%, at $1,223.80 per ounce.

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