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Dow Jones Today, Sept. 18, 2014: U.S. markets soared again Thursday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 Index both closing at record levels. Investors continue to eye the U.S. Federal Reserve, which said it will maintain a low interest rate for some time but plans to increase the rate in quick spurts as the economic recovery continues.
Here's the scorecard from today's trading session:
Dow: 17,265.99, +109.14 (+0.64%)
Nasdaq: 4,593.42, +31.24 (+0.68%)
S&P 500: 2,011.36, +9.79 (+0.49%)
On the international front, investors are keeping a sharp eye on Scotland today, as voters are divided on whether to declare independence from the United Kingdom. Although many have said that an independent Scotland will create massive geopolitical problems, and its leading banks have threatened to leave the country, the nation's credit would improve. According to S&P Capital, Scotland, as an independent nation, would have a credit rating of bbb+, one notch above the United Kingdom's bbb rating.
Here's a breakdown of today's other top stories and stock performances:
- Billions for BABA: Early investors in Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE: BABA) are already set to make a cool $8 billion before the company goes public tomorrow (Friday). Eager to avoid the "lock up" period that would prevent them from selling for several months, investors are heading for the exits to capture their gains. Alibaba could raise up to $25 billion when it goes public.
- Amazon Unleashed: Tech giant Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) dominated the tech news today after it unveiled a number of new gadgets to rival its chief competitors. The firm introduced a $100 tablet and a new high-end electronic-reader that it believes provides the closest reading experience to plain, white paper. Shares of Amazon were up nearly 3.5% in intraday trading. Although AMZN stock could see a pullback when Alibaba goes public, here's how the two companies differ – and ultimately how Amazon can shake off the Alibaba IPO.
About the Author
Garrett Baldwin is a globally recognized research economist, financial writer, and consultant with degrees from Northwestern, Johns Hopkins, Purdue, and Indiana University. He is a seasoned financial and political risk analyst, with a focus on stocks, hedge funds, private equity, blockchain, and housing policy. He has conducted risk assessment projects for clients in 27 countries, and consulted on policy and financial operations for some of the nation's largest financial institutions, including a $1.5 trillion credit fund, a $43 billion credit and auto loan giant, as well as two of the largest Wall Street banks by assets under management.
Garrett joined Money Map Press as an economist and researcher in 2011, specializing in alternative strategies with an emphasis on fundamental and technical analysis.