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Stock market today, July 16, 2014: The Dow Jones today (Wednesday) closed up for its 15th record-breaking close in 2014.
U.S. Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen testified before Congress again today. She reiterated that the economy remains vulnerable to a struggling job market and stagnating wages – two reasons why the central bank will continue its loose monetary policy in 2014. Still, in its Beige Book this afternoon, the Federal Reserve said that the economy was expanding at "a modest to moderate pace."
Here's the scorecard from today's trading session:
DOW: 17,136.27 (+0.44%)
NASDAQ: 4,425.97 (+0.22%)
S&P 500: 1,981.46 (+0.42%)
And here are the top stories that affected the stock market today:
- Bad Apples: Apple stock (Nasdaq: AAPL) was on the rise this afternoon, despite news that the company would pay $400 million to settle an e-book price-fixing case, pending an appeal. The settlement would allow the company and the plaintiff to avoid a trial. Initial lawsuits, which charged that Apple engaged in a price-fixing scheme, sought damages of up to $840 million. Gains today likely came from Apple's new deal with International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM).
- Downward Day: Yahoo stock (Nasdaq: YHOO) fell nearly 5% on the day after the company reported lackluster earnings for the quarter. Shares of AOL Inc. (NYSE: AOL) were also down 3.5% after rumors about a possible merger with Yahoo! were squashed. Rumors have been flying about a union after the CEOs of both companies were seen having drinks in Sun Valley last week.
- Hardware Surge: Shares of Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) were up more than 8% on Wednesday, with the company reaching a 10-year high for its stock. INTC beat Street earnings estimates by two cents and revenue by $140 million. The largest chip manufacturer surged on news that it had beat demand estimates on companies seeking to replace old hardware. Intel also announced a $20 billion buy-back plan of more than 78 million shares.
- Cyber War: In an interview with CNBC, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said that hundreds of cyber-attacks have taken place in recent years against U.S. banks and other institutions in order to disrupt or dismantle the U.S. financial system. Lew used his time to push Congress to pass a new cybersecurity bill that would allow greater collaboration between companies to address these threats.
- Security Surge: Following an upgrade from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS), shares of FireEye Inc. (Nasdaq: FEYE) jumped by more than 2%. Since bottoming out in the mid-20s, the stock has been attempting to climb back. FEYE is down from a 52-week high of $97 after concerns about its valuation. Goldman set a price target of $42 per share for the stock.
Now our experts share some of the most important investment moves to make based on today's market trading – for Money Morning Members only: