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U.S. stock markets jumped Wednesday on a Republican surge in Tuesday's midterm elections and stronger than expected private-sector job growth. The Dow Jones and S&P 500 hit all-time record highs today. The S&P 500 Volatility Index (VIX), the market's volatility gauge, dipped 4.8%.
Dow Jones: 17,484.53, +100.69, +0.58%
S&P 500: 2.023.57, +11.47, +0.57%
Nasdaq: 4,620.72, -2.91, -0.06%
What Moved Markets Today: Energy stocks led the charge on Wednesday after optimism fueled the markets over possible legislative policy that could soon come from a new Republican Senate majority. The most notable name was TransCanada Corp. (NYSE: TRP), which saw shares jump 3.25%. The company is best known for being the principle owner of the long-delayed Keystone Pipeline. Companies also engaged in shipping, storage, and exporting of fuels saw strong gains on the day.
Today's Most Notable Economic News: According to the ADP National Employment report, U.S. private employers created 230,000 jobs in October. This was the highest level in four months and beat analyst expectations. The news provides a boost of confidence in the labor markets ahead of Friday's U.S. jobs report for the month of October. Consensus estimates for last month's ADP figure was 220,000.
Now check out the day's most important market notes:
- Oil Surge: Energy stocks rose on political optimism, inventory data, and an unconfirmed report that a pipeline in Saudi Arabia had exploded. Brent crude, the global benchmark priced in London, rose more than 0.5% to hit $83.28. Meanwhile, West Texas Intermediate prices jumped more than 1.7% to hit $78.54. This morning, the Energy Information Administration said that crude inventories increased 460,000 barrels, a figure significantly lower than the 2.2 million forecasted by experts. This morning, a rumor spread that a pipeline had caught fire in Saudi Arabia, fueling a short spike in the global commodity.
- Gas Surge: Natural gas stocks were also on the rise this afternoon after two energy giants reported stronger than expected third-quarter earnings. Shares of Devon Energy Corp. (NYSE: DVN) rose more than 10% on the day, while Chesapeake Energy Corp. (NYSE: CHK) rose more than 6%. Devon announced that its oil and gas revenue increased 97% in comparison to the same period last year. Chesapeake announced its revenue increased by 17% for the quarter compared to the same time last year. Here, Money Morning Global Energy Strategist Dr. Kent Moors explains why natural gas prices will be heading higher…
- The New Giant: Shares of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE: BABA) surged to an all-time high after the company received a number of upgrades from banks. The confidence boost comes after the company reported earnings per share (EPS) of $0.45, meeting Street estimates. Yesterday, Alibaba reported quarterly revenue of $2.74 billion, an increase of 54% from last year. Wall Street analysts expected revenue of $2.64 billion. Here's a full breakdown of what Alibaba's earnings mean to investors moving forward.
- Entertaining Profits: Shares of Time Warner Inc. (NYSE: TWX) rose 4% on news that the company bested third-quarter earnings estimates. Strong subscription fees from its Home Box Office and Turner Broadcasting properties boosted the company's bottom line. According to its earnings report, HBO revenue jumped more than 10% and accounted for more than 20% of the company's profits. With HBO surging thanks to its award-winning original programming, the company will move to its own streaming subscription service in 2015 to tackle new rivals like Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) and Hulu Plus.
Now our experts share some of the most important investment moves to make based on today's market trading – for Money Morning Members only:
- How to Profit from a Stronger U.S. Dollar: The U.S. Federal Reserve plans to wind down its asset purchases this month, but Japan and the United Kingdom are still buying, full swing. Meanwhile, the European Union is just looking to get started with its stimulus efforts. That's sent the U.S. dollar into a major run-up, with the euro and yen on the losing side. This adds up to a global currency conflict. And Money Morning Resource Specialist Peter Krauth, a 20-year commodity guru and portfolio advisor, has identified a very rare, very lucrative opportunity…
- How to Profit from Unrest in Hong Kong: Most investors haven't got a clue about what Hong Kong's riots represent, let alone the investment potential that's being unleashed there. As a result, they're going to miss out on some really terrific profit opportunities. But before we get to the best way to play this, understanding what's driving the unrest is key…
- How to Get a Piece of Wall Street Profits Without the Wall Street Corruption: There's simply no limit to how far Wall Street will go to make a buck. It's no wonder. With corporate offenses and "bad behavior" routinely going unpunished, perpetrators have developed a sense of impunity. But we can strike back against banks that are behaving badly. And here's how we're going to play a non-bank investment against a rigged services industry…