All three major domestic indexes were up when today was all said and done, but it was a close call for much of the afternoon. The Dow added 29.69 points over the course of rocky trading today, and closed out the day at 18,040.37. The NASDAQ added 12.90 points and closed at 5,082.93, thanks in large part to the big tech companies who held their own in the market today. The S&P 500 gained as well, up 4.34 points to close out Monday's trading at 2,111.73.
Oil Rises But Energy Companies Fall
Usually the fate of the price of crude and energy production companies are tightly tied together, but in trading today the price of oil rose while many energy companies fell. I've written before about the fragile state of energy companies, but nothing illustrates the weak energy market like the fact that crude oil futures can rise while energy producers lose money.
Murphy Oil Corp (MUR) fell over -2%, or -0.94 points to close the day at $42.52. Transocean (RIG) was down -1.50% to $18.58. Diamond Offshore (DO) dropped a percentage point to $30.09. The price of crude oil was up 0.13% to $60.28 per barrel.
Airlines Soar On Better Than Expected Quarterly Results
The only market segment that has been hit as hard as energy producers has been the airlines. Expensive tickets and crowded flights, along with an intimidating level of security, have made it hard for the industry to turn much of a profit. Still, with the American consumer economy picking up and people traveling more, it's only a matter of time until things turn around. Today, the airlines got a faint glimmer of just what such a turnaround might look like, when they announced higher than expected profits on increased volume for the quarter.
American Airlines (AAL) rose over 4% on the day to close at $44.18. Delta (DAL) was up 1.43 points to $44.35. United (UAL) and Southwest (LUV) rose 1.72 and 0.88 points respectively. Southwest closed at $37.85 per share, while United ended the day's trading at $56.31.
Blue Chips Anchor Today's Volatile Market
If it weren't for the major market players, today would have had a very different outcome. Blue chip stocks -- so-called for the high value of the poker chips they're named after -- anchored the marketplace today, neither making huge gains or posting big losses. That was enough to turn a rough day for traders into a small win for the markets.
Google (GOOG) was up less than a percentage point to $549.21 per share. Boeing (BA) rose 0.73 points to close the day's trading at 141.25. Goldman Sachs (GS) posted a gain of 1.62 points to close at 207.81.