Strong Afternoon Trading Leads Dow to Solid Gains

The Dow closed strong today in end of day trading, gaining 225.48 points to finish up 1.31% 17,416.85. NASDAQ gained 45.42 points to close at 4,683.41, and the S&P 500 finished up 19.09 points in order to close at 2,021.25. In world markets, Japan's Nikkei and Hong Kong's Hang Seng both fell just over 1% in a trend that was seen across Asia. Germany's DAX was up 0.25% to 10,737.87.

Strong Showing For Consumer Goods. Most of the Dow's gains were made in the consumer goods sector, which had a strong day due to the continued release of higher than expected earnings reports and rebounding US economy.

The biggest winner was Harmon International (HAR), a leading producer of high-end audio equipment, which gained 23.74% to close at 124.99 points. Luxury fashion company Coach Inc (COH) posted gains of 6.80% to 38.94, and industry giant Colgate-Palmolive (CL) rose 6.00% to finish at 69.03 per share.

Energy Investors Remain Nervous.The energy sector continued to post losses due in part to continuing worries about the long-term stability of oil and natural gas, which investors fear may not have yet found a bottom. Light crude oil rebounded slightly to 44.58 per barrel, and natural gas was up a scant 0.26% to 2.73 per million BTUs, but both were volatile throughout the day. Diamond Offshore Drilling (DO), a domestic oil and gas producer, lead the race to the bottom of the energy sector with a disappointing drop of -6.48% to 30.73 per share.

Another Bad Day For Qualcomm, Yahoo! In tech, chip-maker Qualcomm Inc (QCOM) continued to struggle, posting losses of -10.27% to finish the day at 63.70. Search and media giant Yahoo! Inc (YHOO) also continued its fall, down -3.19% to 46.46, due to poor earnings and an abrupt split from overseas marketplace Alibaba Group Holding (BABA) which itself fell -8.78% to 89.81 for many of the same reasons.

A Few Moderate Losses. Food and sweets manufacturer Hershey Co (HSY) also had a down day, with a loss of -4.08% to finish at 103.29 after buying artisan beef jerky manufacturer KRAVE. Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX) was down -5.87% to 114.14, and defense manufacturer Raytheon Co (RTN) lost -2.46% to end the day at 102.00.

Some Of Today's Winners include Varian Medical Systems Inc (VAR), rising 8.69% to 94.04, and home builder PulteGroup (PHM), which rose 6.03% to 21.82 per share. Both companies handily beat Q1 earnings expectations. Their respective sectors also rose this quarter, with Health Services up 12.75% and Consumer Durable Goods up 5.93% over the past three months.

T-Bills And Commodities Flat. 10-year Treasury notes also rose slightly, up 0.03% for a yield of 1.75%. The Bitcoin Composite Quote (XBT) was up 2.32% to $232.82 per coin. In commodities, gold held largely steady, posting small gains of $0.60 per troy ounce to finish at $1255.20, while corn rose 0.40% to $373.00 per bushel.

Published on Jan 29, 2015
By Aaron Phillips
Aaron Phillips is a financial researcher and journalist based out of Michigan. He regularly writes the IG Daily and IG Weekly columns.

Copyrighted 2016. Content published with author's permission.

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