Bank Stocks Lift Dow Jones Industrial Average

A Bearish Alibaba Signal; Plus, the Oversold Semiconductor Stock

Dec 15, 2016 at 4:24 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) rebounded from yesterday's Fed-induced loss, as financial stocks rallied in light of the Federal Open Market Committee's (FOMC) rate-hike forecast for 2017. Specifically, blue chips Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS), JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM), and American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) all hit new highs, while strong gains from healthcare stocks helped lift the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (COMP). A three-week low in weekly jobless claims and upbeat reports on the manufacturing sector highlighted a strong day on the data front, adding to traders' risk-on approach. The U.S. dollar also continued to strengthen, touching 14-year highs, pressuring oil and gold futures in the process. While the Dow came up short of the flashy 20,000 level -- and fresh record highs -- the large-cap index is back on track for a sixth straight weekly win

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA - 19,852.24) rallied to a triple-digit gain at midday, but pared its upside to close with a 59.7-point, or 0.3%, advance. Despite the strong performances from bank heavyweights, it was DuPont (NYSE:DD) that paced the Dow's 19 winners, gaining 1.6%. The biggest losers were Nike Inc (NYSE:NKE) and United Technologies Corporation (NYSE:UTX), each losing 1%. 

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,262.03) rose 8.8 points, or 0.4%, while the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 5,456.86) added 20.2 points, or 0.4%. 

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 12.79) dropped 0.4 point, or 3%. 

Indexes closing summary December 15
NYSE and Nasdaq December 15

5 Items on Our Radar Today

  1. A half-dozen drug companies -- including Mylan NV (NASDAQ:MYL) -- are being sued by 20 states for supposedly inflating the prices of certain drugs. The suit suggests the companies conspired on ways to avoid competition and keep market share. (The New York Times)
  2. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler announced he will be stepping down in January. Wheeler fought to protect net neutrality -- an issue that split corporate America and has been opposed by President-elect Donald Trump.  (TechCrunch)
  3. The ugly bear note that sent Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (NYSE:VRX) to new lows. 
  4. 2 reasons Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is a top pick for this brokerage firm
  5. One cybersecurity stock benefiting from Yahoo! Inc.'s (NASDAQ:YHOO) security breach

Quarterly earnings December 15
Unusual options activity December 15
Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Commodities:

The strengthening dollar pressured oil prices today. January-dated crude oil futures sank 14 cents, or 0.3%, to end at $50.90 per barrel, after earlier breaching the half-century mark. 

Gold prices were hammered today, as the dollar continued to rise following the Fed's rate-hike forecast. In fact, with February-dated gold dropping $33.90, or 2.9%, to $1,129.80 per ounce, gold futures ended at their lowest point since the beginning of February. 

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