Hawkish Fed Fails to Spook Dow Jones Industrial Average

3 Charts Flashing a Warning Sign for Stocks

Jan 4, 2017 at 4:25 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) explored a relatively narrow range of 77 points, as traders awaited -- then digested -- the minutes from December's Federal Reserve meeting. Specifically, the minutes suggested a more hawkish tone from some Fed officials, who said the current plan of "gradual" interest-rate increases may not be enough. Among the risks the Fed cited that could "call for a different path of policy than currently expected" was the unemployment rate, bringing this Friday's jobs report on the immediate radar. Nevertheless, stocks managed to claw a bit higher late in the session -- with the S&P 500 Index (SPX) briefly surpassing its record closing high -- although the much-watched Dow 20,000 level continued to play hard to get.
 
Continue reading for more on today's market, including:
 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA - 19,942.16) added 60.4 points, or 0.3%. Nike Inc (NYSE:NKE) paced the gainers for a second straight day, adding 2.1%, as 17 of 30 blue-chip components ended in positive territory. Leading the laggards, meanwhile, was gas stock Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM), which closed down 1.1%. 

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,270.75) gained 12.9 points, or 0.6%. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 5,477.01) climbed 47.9 points, or 0.9%.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 11.85) dropped exactly 1 point, or 7.8%.

indexes closing summary jan 4
nyse and nasdaq stats jan 4

5 Items on Our Radar Today

  1. Tech titan Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) confirmed this afternoon that it will invest $1 billion in a fund for tech development set up by Japan-based SoftBank -- which will reportedly invest at least $25 billion itself. A spokesperson from Apple stated, "We believe their new fund will speed the development of technologies which may be strategically important to Apple." (Reuters)
  2. It's been a bad day for public transportation. Two trolleys run by the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) collided in Philadelphia this afternoon, injuring no fewer than 46 people. This follows the derailment of a Long Island Rail Road train in Brooklyn, which left at least 103 injured this morning. (CNBC)
  3. Strong December sales gave these 2 automakers a lift. 
  4. The key resistance level we're watching on Kroger Co (NYSE:KR).
  5. See why this drugmaker shed nearly 50% today -- and why this sector peer tacked on over 50%.

unusual options activity jan 4
Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Commodities:

Crude oil rose today on expectations that tomorrow's weekly crude stockpiles report will show the first week-over-week decline in domestic inventories since Dec. 9. February-dated crude finished the day up 93 cents, or 1.8%, at $53.26 per barrel.

Gold for February delivery also managed a positive session, adding $3.30, or 0.3%, to close at $1,165.30, as the U.S. dollar pulled back from Tuesday's 14-year highs. The malleable metal extended these gains in the afternoon, following the release of the Fed minutes.

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