Dow Jones Industrial Average Adds 112 Points After Fed Raises Rates

The Rare Dow Transports Signal Not Seen Since 2015

by Karee Venema |

Published on Mar 15, 2017 at 4:26 PM
Updated on Mar 16, 2017 at 7:57 AM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) spent most of the session trading modestly higher, as stocks reacted to rebounding oil prices and a fresh batch of economic data. However, after the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) raised its benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points, as expected, the Dow jumped to a triple-digit lead. This is the second rate hike since December, with the central bank sticking to its forecast for two additional increases by the end of the year. While the FOMC statement cited "realized and expected labor market conditions and inflation" for the hike, Fed Chair Janet Yellen said in a subsequent press conference, "The simple message is the economy is doing well." By the close, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (COMP) were comfortably higher, settling at their loftiest perches since March 1.

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

  • The rare Dow Transports signal not seen since 2015.
  • Takeover chatter and bullish analyst attention boosted these 2 tech stocks.
  • 3 reasons options bulls should watch shares of Universal Display.
  • Plus, Adobe options ahead of earnings; Netflix gets an upgrade; and Snap shares hit a new low.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA - 20,950.10) came within 23 points of the 21,000 mark before settling up 112 points, or 0.5%. Caterpillar shares led 24 of the 30 Dow stocks higher with their 1.6% gain, while American Express paced the six decliners with its 0.6% loss.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,385.26) tacked on 19.8 points, or 0.8%. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 5,900.05), meanwhile, added 43.2 points, or 0.7%, after trading north of its record closing high in intraday action.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 11.63) shed 0.7 point, or 5.5%.

closing indexes summary march 15
NYSE and nasdaq stats march 15

5 Items on Our Radar Today

  1. The Justice Department indicted four individuals for hacking into 500 million Yahoo user accounts in 2014. This includes two criminal hackers and two Russian spies, and marks the first time the U.S. has charged Russian officials with criminal activity in the cyber space.  (The Washington Post)
  2. Devin Nunes, chair of the House Intelligence Committee, said today that they haven't found any evidence supporting President Donald Trump's claims that former President Barack Obama issued wiretaps ahead of last November's election. Speaking at a news conference in Washington D.C., Nunes said, "I don't think there was an actual tap of Trump Tower." (Bloomberg)
  3. Adobe options traders may be selling to open calls to bet on a post-earnings volatility crush.
  4. The catalyst behind this analyst upgrade for Netflix stock.
  5. Snap shares hit their lowest point to date after Cantor Fitzgerald listed five reasons to be cautious toward the stock.

corporate earnings march 15
Unusual options activity march 15
Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Commodities

Crude oil snapped its seven-session losing streak, after the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported an unexpected drop in U.S. inventories. At session's end, April-dated crude futures were up $1.14, or 2.4%, at $48.86 per barrel.

Gold prices closed lower ahead of this afternoon's Fed decision, with gold for April delivery settling down $1.90, or 0.2%, at $1,200.70 an ounce. The malleable metal has bounced off the highly watched $1,200 level in post-Fed after-hours trading, though, last seen trading up 1.2%.

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