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The Dow Jones jumped more than 100 points Tuesday to close at a new record high, fueled by a soaring dollar, strong auto sales, and big gains in energy stocks. The S&P 500 Volatility Index (VIX), the market's fear gauge, fell more than 9%.
Dow: 17,879.55, +102.75, +0.58%
S&P 500: 2,066.55, +13.11, +0.64%
Nasdaq: 4,755.81, +28.46, +0.60%
What Moved the Markets Today: The U.S. dollar is at its highest level since March 2009. The greenback is now at a 28-month high against the euro and a seven-year high against the Japanese yen. Stocks jumped again today as the auto sector continues to show signs of significant recovery and energy shares show some resiliency to OPEC's production decision. Shares of Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) and Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) were both up about 2% in the day.
Now check out the day's most important market notes:
- Automaker Surge: The six largest global automakers are on pace to record their strongest sales since 2003. According to Autodata, manufacturers are on pace to sell more than 17.2 million vehicles this year. Shares of General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) gained nearly 1% on news the company had its best month since 2007. The firm said sales increased by 6% in November. Shares of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (NYSE: FCAU) were up nearly 3% on news the company reported a 20% gain in sales last month. Shares of Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) were still up on the day despite a 2% monthly decline. But Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald recently shared the one auto company that will surpass all expectations…
- This Means War: Falling oil prices are harming Russia's economy more than previously expected. The nation's financial ministry announced this morning that its gross domestic product would decline by 0.8% in 2015. This is lower than the previous estimate of a 1.2% increase for the year. Money Morning Global Energy Strategist Dr. Kent Moors explained today that OPEC's decision to maintain production levels is having a more profound impact on global producers. In fact, the decision amounts to a declaration of an oil price war – here's an exclusive look from Moors' "inside" perspective…
- Protect and Serve: The electrical weapon and body camera sector soared today after U.S. President Barack Obama called for $263 million for a pilot program that would require law-enforcement training after the ongoing civil rights protests in Ferguson, Mo., and around the country. Shares of TASER International Inc. (Nasdaq: TASR) jumped more than 10% intraday. Digital Ally Inc. (Nasdaq: DGLY) soared 45% on the day. The proposed White House order will call for the purchase of 50,000 body-worn cameras.
- Price Wars Continue: Telecom shares slumped today on renewed concerns about a price war for wireless services heading into 2015. Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) announced this afternoon it would cut monthly service costs to users who switch from rivals Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) and AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T). Similar offers have been provided by T-Mobile U.S. Inc. (NYSE: TMUS) in the past, weighing down the sector. Verizon shares fell more than 1.8%, while AT&T slipped 2.2%. Sprint was the biggest decliner, falling 3%.
- Own This Stock: Shares of Biogen Idec Inc. (Nasdaq: BIIB) soared more than 6% on news an experimental treatment for Alzheimer's disease was entering a third-stage drug trial. The stock has gained more than 17% on the year and more than 10% in the last two weeks. But there's another play on our radar that could benefit from another breakthrough in the pharmaceutical sector. Money Morning Biotech Investing Specialist Ernie Tremblay outlines the one stock poised to benefit from a white-hot trend sweeping the markets.
Now our experts share some of the most important investment moves to make based on today's market trading – for Money Morning Members only:
- One Stock That Will Profit from a New, Breakthrough Medical Direction: Modern medicine, for all of its sophisticated drugs, complex gadgets, and amazing surgical procedures, rarely cures anything. It treats. It manages. It postpones the inevitable. But return a patient to normal, optimal health? Rarely. So when an innovation comes along that can effect a complete and permanent remission of disease or restore damaged organs to a pristine state, it should cause your keenest investing instincts to perk up and pay attention…
- How We'll Play the 2014 Year-End Rally: Stocks are headed higher through year end for many reasons, but one in particular is telling. It's really simple, yet too many people have overlooked it. Indeed, most wouldn't even give it enough thought. And that would be a big mistake. As Money Morning's Shah Gilani explains, if you understand that one compelling reason, you can pick some winners – and pocket big profits – yourself.
- How Google Will Dominate the Future: Today Tech Specialist Michael A. Robinson reveals why Google is such an intriguing tech investment with enormous upside. This industry leader has somehow combined Warren Buffett's business genius with the futurist brain of Ray Kurzweil, Google's director of engineering. And there's nothing but profit ahead for investors…