Market Wrap For Thursday, December 26: Volume Is Light During Market Height
As anticipated, volume was light and news was thin this boxing day. Regardless, indexes climbed to new highs.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 122.33 points, or 0.75 percent, to close at 16,480.
The S&P 500 gained 8.7 points, or 0.47 percent, to 1,842.
The Nasdaq Composite rose 11.76 points, or 0.28 percent, to close at 4,167.
UPS and FedEx saw unprecedented demand this week, and failed to deliver packages by Christmas for many customers. Amazon customers affected by the delay are rumored to get a 20 dollar credit for future purchases.
Initial jobless claims were better than expected at 338,000 while Wall Street expected 345,000. However, continuing claims were 3.2 percent worse than expected at 2.92 million.
On Tuesday, BlackBerry (NASDAQ: BBRY) co-founder Michael Lazaridis lowered his stake in the company to just below 5% versus 5.7%. BlackBerry posted a Q3 loss of $4.4 billion last week. Shares gave up 8.87 percent Thursday to close at $7.06.
Shares of Twitter (NYSE: TWTR) got a boost, shooting up 4.79 percent to $73.31 on a volatile session after gaining for three trading days. Twitter shares surged to a new high today.
3D Systems (NYSE: DDD) was also up, gaining 6.96 percent to $92.06, breaking the psychological $90 level as traders rushed into 3D printing names on Thursday's session.
DryShips (NASDAQ: DRYS) was also up, gaining 12.71 percent to $4.70 as the whole sector showed continued strength from Tuesday's trading session.
Opko Health (NYSE: OPK) tumbled 2.65 percent to $8.80. Opko Health shares have surged 93.16% over the past 52 weeks.
See also: Treasuries Yields Rally, ETFs Fall
Textura Corporation (NYSE: TXTR) shares were down as well, falling 17.06 percent to $31.30 after Citron Research issued a scathing report on the company midway through the morning Thursday.
Crude oil made a small move up today. At last check, NYMEX crude rose 0.38 percent to $99.60 while Brent contracts gained 0.05 percent to $111.96. Natural gas was up two cents at last check to $4.43.
Precious metals made a stronger move higher, staying above the key $1,200 level. Nearing the close of equities, COMEX gold futures had risen 0.65 percent to $1,211.10 and silver futures were up 1.6 percent to $19.80.
Volatility and Volume
The VIX looks like the graph of negative x squared. Heading into the close, the volatility index was down more than two percent to 12.21.
As noted above, volume was minuscule today. Roughly 50 million shares of the S&P 500 ETF (NYSE: SPY) traded hands, compared to the three month average of 113 million.
The PowerShares DB US Dollar Index Bullish ETF (NYSE: UUP), which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of foreign currencies, was flat today at 21.64 after yesterday’s small gain.
The closely watched EUR/USD pair was last trading up 0.1 percent to $1.3694. The other notable mover of the day is the USD/JPY couple gaining 0.34 percent to $104.74.
Asian markets were mixed overnight. The Shanghai index dropped 1.58 percent with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng up 1.13 percent. Japan’s volatile Nikkei moved up roughly one percent on the day.
European markets were mostly in the green Thursday. The Euro Stoxx index, which tracks 50 euro zone blue chips rallied 0.77 percent. London’s FTSE added 0.23 percent, and France’s CAC gained 0.07 percent.
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