OPEC Drives Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P to Record Highs

Buy Puts on These 20 Small-Cap Stocks

Nov 30, 2016 at 4:25 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) touched another record high and finished in the black, buoyed by strong economic data and a production-cut agreement at the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). However, even as energy stocks stormed higher with crude oil prices, biotechs were battered -- dragging the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) lower. The S&P 500 Index (SPX) also settled in the red, but not before touching its own all-time peak.

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

After hitting a record peak of 19,225.29, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA - 19,123.58) ended just 2 points higher -- though it managed a more impressive monthly gain of 5.4%. Nine of the 30 Dow stocks settled higher, paced by a 3.6% pop at Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS). On the flip side, Visa Inc (NYSE:V) led 21 blue chips lower, shedding 2.3%.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,198.81) surrendered 5.9 points, or 0.3%, but not before touching a record high of 2,214.10. For November, the SPX added 3.5%. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 5,323.68) tumbled 56.2 points, or 1.1%, trimming its monthly advance to 2.6%.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 13.33) jumped 0.4 point, or 3.3%, for its highest settlement since Nov. 17. On a monthly basis, however, the market's "fear gauge" dropped 21.9%.

Indexes closing summary November 30

NYSE and NASDAQ stats November 30

5 Items on Our Radar Today

  1. According to Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester, the time has come to raise interest rates, in the interest of economic growth. "I view a small step up in interest rates as appropriate, not because I want to curtail the expansion, but because I believe it will help prolong the expansion," she said. (CNBC)
  2. President-elect Donald Trump announced his intention to leave behind his business "in total," as he prepares to assume the highest office in the land. However, it is currently unclear whether Trump will divest his stake in the Trump Organization, or will simply remove himself from its operations. (The New York Times)
  3. 25 SPX stocks to avoid in December.
  4. The M&A bust that buried Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (NYSE:VRX).
  5. Why one drugmaker dove 67%.

Quarterly Earnings November 30

Unusual Options Activity November 30
Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Commodities:

Oil burned up the charts following OPEC's first agreement to curb crude output in eight years. January-dated futures added $4.21, or 9.3% -- their best one-day performance since February -- to close at $49.44 per barrel. For the month, crude oil added 5.5%.

Gold was whipped by a raft of solid economic data, which bolstered the dollar as well as the likelihood of a December Fed rate hike. Gold for February delivery -- which was the most active contract -- fell $16.90, or 1.4%, to $1,173.90 per ounce. The precious metal also suffered its worst monthly loss since June 2013, plummeting 7.9% in November.

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