Dow Jones Today Surges 154 Points, plus GDOT Soars 24% on WMT Partnership

Dow Jones Today, Sept. 24, 2014: The Dow Jones Industrial Average soared 154 points Wednesday as U.S. markets posted their largest gains in five weeks. Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans urged the central bank to be "exceptionally patient" when deciding a timeframe on increasing interest rates.

Here's the scorecard from today's trading session:

Dow: 17,210.06, +154.18 (+0.90%)
Nasdaq: 4,555.22, +46.53 (+1.03%)
S&P 500: 1,998.30, +15.53 (0.78%)

Now, here's a breakdown of today's top stories and stock performances:

Dow Jones today

  • Wal-Bank: Shares of Green Dot Corp. (NYSE: GDOT) shot up more than 24% on news that the company is partnering with Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) to offer low-cost checking accounts to retail customers. The companies plan to offer a low-cost alternative to traditional bank accounts, including zero fees for overdrafts or bounced checks. Shares of Wal-Mart were up nearly 2% on the day.
  • Back to Life: The housing market continues to show signs of life as August sales of new U.S. single-family homes hit their highest point since the onset of the financial crisis. Despite the positive data, a continuation in strong housing data will face its challenges, as younger Americans are still dealing with high student loans, sluggish unemployment levels, and other financial challenges, all which are hindering millennials from being able to afford their own homes. Despite positive housing data, shares of builder KB Home (NYSE: KBH) tumbled more than 5% on the day after it reported it had missed quarterly earnings expectations.
  • A Tale of Two IPOs: It was a banner debut for Israeli-cybersecurity company Cyber-Ark Software Ltd. (Nasdaq: CYBR), which was the Nasdaq's top performer on the day. The company opened at $25 and continued to rise, a massive premium from its IPO price of $16. Meanwhile, shares of Citizens Financial Group Inc. (NYSE: CFG) were up 7% on today's debut to close at $23.08. The U.S. subsidiary of Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc. (NYSE ADR: RBS) raised $3 billion during its IPO. However, shares were priced at only $21.50 on Tuesday, below their initial expected range of $23 to $25 each.

  • Fight Time: The nation's largest business lobbyist, the Chamber of Commerce, attacked plans by the U.S. Treasury Department and the White House to stop American companies from relocating abroad for tax purposes. The business group launched a campaign called "Fair Reform for Growth," which argues that the government's goal to stop corporate inversions does little to generate business in America and will eventually harm the U.S. economy over the long term.
  • Sell, Sell, Sell: Share of Starz (Nasdaq: STRZA) were up 5.5% on news that the company is seeking a buyer for the entertainment company. Reports indicate that the firm met with representatives of Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. (Nasdaq: FOXA), although it is unclear if any interest exists from Rupert Mudoch's media empire. Starz has struggled to gain on its audience totals in recent years against its primary competitors HBO and Showtime, as the latter two have seen remarkable success from their original programming.

Now our experts share some of the most important investment moves to make based on today's market trading - for Money Morning Members only:

  • A Post-Petrodollar Play for Triple-Digit Gains: It is now clear that both Russia and China are making concerted efforts to move off the petrodollar system. The result of this trend will roil the currency markets, and we can expect these seismic shifts to affect the U.S. dollar - and the stock market. The changes open up profit opportunities, too, and Peter Krauth has found the perfect stock to benefit from the petrodollar's demise.....
  • (Other) Investors Will Hate You for Using This Investment Strategy: Even with interest rates so low and the economy steadily improving, many nervous investors - worried about a correction - are selling off. Whenever there is this sort of negative noise in the air, it is not a time to sell - but a profit opportunity for tech investors. That's why Defense & Tech Specialist Michael A. Robinson is sharing three strategies designed to turn market declines to your financial advantage. With them, you'll leave the nervous sellers in the dust...
  • 252 Million Years Ago, This Nearly Wiped Out All Life... Tomorrow, It Could Solve Our Energy Problems: According to an April study issued in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, permafrost soil, which typically remains frozen all year, is thawing and decomposing at an accelerating rate. But after a shocking discovery, it seems something locked in the soil could become the fuel of the future... and you could profit big off the new revolution.


About the Author

Garrett Baldwin is a globally recognized research economist, financial writer, consultant, and political risk analyst with decades of trading experience and degrees in economics, cybersecurity, and business from Johns Hopkins, Purdue, Indiana University, and Northwestern.

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