Dow Jones Today Surges 228 Points as Investors Bet Against Interest Rate Hike

For Sept. 15, 2015, here's how the stock market did today, earnings reports, the top stock market news, and stocks to watch based on today's market moves...

How Did the Stock Market Do Today?

Dow JonesDow Jones: 16,599.85; +228.89; +1.40%                        

S&P 500: 1,978.09; +25.06; +1.28%

Nasdaq: 4,860.52; +54.76; +1.14% 

The Dow Jones today surged more than 228 points ahead of this week's Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting. The price of gold today remained flat - down just 0.3% - as investors take a wait-and-see approach to this critical meeting on monetary policy. Markets seemed unaffected by weaker than expected monthly retail sales or a decline in industrial output during August

Here's a breakdown of what to expect from the central bank's two-day assembly on Wednesday and Thursday (Sept. 16-17).

The S&P 500 Volatility Index (VIX), the market's fear gauge, gained 5% on the day.

Top Stock Market News Today

  • Stock Market News: All 10 S&P 500 sectors were in positive territory as investors took a cautious but optimistic approach that the Federal Reserve will not raise interest rates in the coming days. Industrial stocks surged this afternoon, adding 1.3%. Today's most active gainers in that sector were United Parcel Service Inc. (NYSE: UPS), Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA), and General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE).
  • Oil Prices Rise: Oil prices were on the rise today as President Barrack Obama stated the administration's opposition to a plan by the U.S. House of Representatives to repeal a 40-year-old crude export ban. The plan would have likely brought U.S. crude prices toward parity on the global oil markets. Today, WTI prices added 1.5% to reach $44.65. Meanwhile, Brent oil prices added 0.5% to hit $46.60 per barrel. Traders will have their eyes on tomorrow's report on U.S. oil inventory levels. This morning, energy market intelligence company Genscape predicted that U.S. crude stocks slipped by 1.8 million barrels last week. Any decline on inventories will likely fuel a rise in prices.
  • On Tap Wednesday: Tomorrow, the Fed Open Market Committee kicks off its two-day meeting to discuss monetary policy. In addition, investors will keep an eye on the monthly consumer price index, the housing market index, and the EIA Petroleum Status Report. Companies reporting earnings include Oracle Corp. (NYSE: ORCL), FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX), Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Inc. (Nasdaq: CBRL), and Ascena Retail Group Inc. (NYSE: ASNA).

Stocks to Watch: FCAU, FIT, GTT, BABA, GTN

    • Stocks to Watch 1, FCAU: Shares Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (NYSE: FCAU) gained roughly 3.5% on news the company's operations will not experience a delay due to concerns over a strike by the United Auto Workers. According to reports, the automaker and the auto union are expected to exercise good faith while working on a new contract for factory workers.
    • Stocks to Watch No. 2, FIT: Shares of FitBit Inc. (NYSE: FIT) were on the rise today after investment research firm Pacific Crest issued an "overweight" rating for the stock and set a bullish price target of $47. That represents a near 50% gain from yesterday's close. Pacific Crest projected the wearable device market - dominated by both FitBit and Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) - is poised to grow by more than 100% over the next year.
    • Stocks to Watch No. 3, GTT: Shares of GTT Communications Inc. (NYSE: GTT) gained more than 4.5% today on news that the cloud-networking giant will purchase One Networks for $175 million. The deal is expected to help GTT boost its customer base of Fortune 1000 companies and expand its global sales force.
    • Stocks to Watch No. 4, BABA: Shares of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE: BABA) added another 4.2% today as concerns about the Chinese economy and a recent Barron's article subsided. Here's a full breakdown of why Barron's analysis - which predicted a possible 50% decline for the stock - is flawed.

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  • Stocks to Watch No. 5, GTN: Shares of Gray Television Inc. (NYSE: GTN) added another 13% today after the firm announced plans to purchase the television and radio stations of Schurz Communications for $442.5 million. Following the deal, Gray will own 49 TV stations in 28 states. It will join the ranks of Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. (Nasdaq: SBGI) and Tegna Inc. (NYSE: TGNA) as the nation's largest television station operators. Both Sinclair and Tegna shares climbed more than 2% today on the news.

What Investors Must Know This Week

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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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