Dow Jones Today Jumps Triple Digits on This News

The Dow Jones today gained 225 points. What fueled the surge? Strong earnings reports from a number of Blue Chip companies and an upswing in oil prices. Brent crude oil for March closed up 1.4% to $49.13.

Dow Jones todayToday's Scorecard:

Dow: 17,416.85, +225.88, +1.31%

S&P 500: 2,021.25, +19.09, +0.95%

Nasdaq: 4,683.41, +45.41, +0.98%

The S&P 500 Volatility Index (VIX), the market's fear gauge, slipped more than 8% on the day.
What Moved the Markets Today: The good news started today before trading opened. Job cuts slipped to 15-year lows last week, a positive sign for the U.S. employment situation. Only 265,000 Americans filed for unemployment compensation last week, according to the U.S. Labor Department.

A positive earnings statement from Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) and a CEO change at McDonald's Corp. (NYSE: MCD) also helped lift the Dow.

Now, check out the other top market stories - plus get today's new profit tip for investors:

  • A Huge Exit:Shares of McDonald's Corp. (NYSE: MCD) jumped more than 5% on news the company's CEO, Don Thompson, will step down on March 1. Thompson's resignation comes at a time when McDonald's has seen its sales fall in both the United States and around the globe. The company's chief brand officer and senior executive vice president Steve Easterbrook will replace him. MCD stock ticked up nearly 3% this morning on the news.
  • Chinese Slump: Shares of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE: BABA) plummeted more than 8% after the Chinese e-commerce giant reported weaker than expected quarterly revenue. The news shattered Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO). Now that Alibaba stock has slid more than 27% from its 52-week high, concerns are emerging that analysts could downgrade the stock. All 22 analysts currently have a "Buy" rating on the stock. But today's dip represents a great buying opportunity for BABA stock. In fact, Money Morning's Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald says long-term investors would be "foolish" to not take this chance to add to their positions...
  • Chip Troubles: Shares of Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM) slipped more than 10% on news that the chipmaker has slashed its 2015 outlook. The company also rattled investors with a warning that the company's newest chip will not be in the Samsung Electronics Ltd. (OTCMKTS: SSNLF) Galaxy S6 smartphone.
  • Cutting Costs: Falling oil prices caused another round of capital expenditure cuts from major production companies. ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) and Occidental Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: OXY) both announced cuts to exploration spending for 2015. Brent prices gained 1.4% today to hit $49.13 per barrel. West Texas Intermediate prices were flat, hovering beneath $45 per barrel.
  • An Apple a Day: Shares of Apple stock jumped another 3% today as investors remain bullish on the stock after its quarterly earnings report from this week. Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) smashed Wall Street expectations with record sales of iPhones in the holiday shopping season. This fueled the largest quarterly profits in company history. If you missed out on Apple's stock pop, there's another way to make some money today thanks to the huge potential of Apple Pay and the mobile payments revolution. Money Morning Tech Expert Michael A. Robinson recently shared a terrific profit play on one chipmaker poised for huge growth thanks to its alignment with the industry's top player...
Money Morning's Tip of the Day: We Are Entering a Brand-New Age for Renewable Energy - One with Record-High Profit Potential...

Last week our energy expert Dr. Kent Moors discussed the possibilities revolving around renewable energy. From fast-developing "second-generation" biofuels, to wind and solar power, a new energy balance is emerging, and green energy is leading the way.

Texas wind energy has grown 70.97% in the past five years. Wind was responsible for 10.6% of power generation in the state grid last year, up from 6.2% in 2009. Going further back, wind farms composed just 116 megawatts of capacity on the state's main electric grid in 2000. Today, that number has soared to more than 11,000 megawatts.

The total invested in renewable power in the world jumped to $310 billion in 2014, just $17 billion shy of the all-time record in 2011. But here's the real kicker...

Since renewable energy is now much cheaper to generate, last year's investment brought in almost double the clean electricity capacity versus what was realized only four years earlier. That's undoubtedly a bullish sign... so we'll keep you informed on opportunities in this sector.

Moors already alerted readers to some big developments in the sector in these columns last week: The Renewable Energy Market Gives Us a License to "Grow" Money and Solar Power Is at a Tipping Point... and the Upshot Is Massive Profits.

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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