Oil Hits Two Week Highs, Dow Gains 305.56

The Dow continued to make gains today, piling on 305.36 points in order to close up 1.76% to 17,666.40. The NASDAQ rose as well, up 1.09% to 4,727.74. The S&P 500 grew 1.44% to finish at 2,050.03. World markets were largely up, with London's FTSE climbing 90.42 points to 6,871.80 and Germany's DAX gaining 63.31 points to finish at 10,890.95.

Retail Is Piling Up Gains Staples Inc (SPLS) saw a surge of 10.91% today, ending at 19.01 per share.

The office supplies retailer is up on talks of a merger with Office Depot (ODP), itself gaining 21.63% to finish at 9.28. Walmart (WMT) was up 0.56% to 86.19, Costco(COST) grew 5.31% to 153.15, Whole Foods(WFM) was up 0.45% to 53.39 and JC Penney (JCP) gained 1.75% to close at 7.56. Retail trade was the fastest growing sector of the day, putting on 8.68% in a day that saw roughly average trading volumes.

Oil Closes Over $50 per Barrel The energy sector fell 9.08% today despite oil prices that rose to over $50 per barrel for the first time in over 2 weeks. Despite the faintest hint of recovery, General Electric (GE) announced cuts to its oilfield workforce, putting 330 Texans out of a job. The energy and innovation giant saw share prices rise just over a percent on the news, which left a lot of investors clapping under the table.

Transportation Grows Despite Airline Losses Air carriers Southwest Airlines (LUV) and United Continental (UAL) were also down today, shedding -2.87% and 2.03% respectively. Freight transporter Radiant Logistics (RGLT) rose 1.25% to 4.86, ending the day up over 14% for the year on an excellent Q4 earnings report. Domestic and international shipper Alexander & Baldwin Inc (ALEX)  grew 1.60 points to 40.09.

A Flat Day for Finance Finance didn't move much today, although there were a few successes. Deutsche Bank (DB) grew 4.53% to close at 31.38. Regional banker BankUnited Inc (BKU) added 2.11% to finish at 29.49 per share. Citi Group (C) rose 2.13% to 48.88.

Tech Growth Finally Calming Microsoft (MSFT) stalled a day after dropping the price of their Surface tablets, a clear sign that adoption of the device hasn't been as widespread as hoped. The software business put on 0.78% to close at 41.60 per share. Google (GOOG) stayed flat, rising 0.22% to finish at 533.30. Tech data powerhouse Akamai (AKAM) rose 2.78% and finished the day at 60.12. Backend payment processing service Paychex Inc (PAYX) rose 2.07% today on the back of a rising small business jobs index.

Currency and Commodities Bitcoin continued to fall against the dollar, ending the trading day at $221.41 per coin. The dollar also gained ground against some traditional currencies, growing 1.30% in relation to the Canadian Dollar, 0.81% versus the Mexican Peso, 0.44% against the Australian Dollar, and 0.48% versus the Euro. The biggest news in commodities was clearly the rise of the price of a barrel of light, sweet crude. Oil prices rose to $53.05.

Published on Feb 3, 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 2020. Content published with author's permission.

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