Dow Jones Industrial Average Gains 60 Points as Dollar Hits 14-Year High

Dow Jones Industrial AverageThe Dow Jones Industrial Average bounced back from Wednesday's triple-digit decline as the stronger U.S. dollar and improving economic data fueled optimism.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Federal Reserve raised interest rates for the first time in a decade, as the job market continues to show strength and inflation levels are approaching the central bank's target. The Dow came within 50 points of hitting 20,000.

Let's look at the numbers from Thursday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:

Dow Jones: 19,852.24; +59.71; +0.30%

S&P 500: 2,262.03; +8.75; +0.39%

Nasdaq: 5,456.85; +20.18; +0.37%

Now, here's a look at today's most important market events and stocks, plus a preview of Friday's economic calendar.

DJIA Today: Dow Pushes Higher as Banking Stocks Rally; Oil Prices Flat

The Dow Jones rallied again on Thursday - adding 60 points - as banking stocks continued to rally due to confidence in President-elect Donald Trump's economic policies. Trump's plans for income tax cuts, corporate tax reform, and infrastructure spending are expected to spur inflation higher. As a result, the Fed may need to raise interest rates again, which will increase the cost of loans and benefit financial institutions.

Shares of JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) added 1.5%, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) added 1.5%, and Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC) added 1%.

Gold prices and silver prices plunged after the U.S. dollar hit its highest level since 2003. Gold prices dipped 2.7%, while silver fell 6.8%. Gold prices are sitting at a 10-month low.

Crude oil prices were flat on Thursday as a rising dollar weighed on trader sentiment.

The WTI crude oil price today dipped 0.1% after the Energy Information Administration reported Wednesday that inventory levels increased at the key crude hub in Cushing, Okla.

It was the sixth straight week of inventory builds at the facility. However, the EIA also reported a total U.S. inventory decline of 2.6 million barrels, when analysts had expected a build of roughly 1 million barrels of crude.

Meanwhile, Brent crude dipped 3.5% as traders continue to monitor the progress of OPEC's deal with 12 nonmember nations to reduce total oil production.

Editor's Note: My (Bold) 2017 Oil Price Forecast - and Today's Most Profitable Energy Play

On the geopolitical front, Iran warned of an inevitable World War III that includes the annihilation of Israel if U.S. President-elect Donald Trump breaches the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and Washington. What was it that Trump said that put Tehran on the defensive?

Find out here.

The big news today is what one hacking event can do to a technology stock.

Shares of Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO) plunged more than 5.8% on news that the company was hacked in 2013. The cyberattack compromised 1 billion email accounts and could end up costing the company $1 billion in its deal with Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ). Verizon said that it will explore a lower price for the core assets of Yahoo or pull out of the deal altogether. The buyout is supposed to close in the first quarter of 2017. Here's everything you need to know about the Yahoo hack 2016.

Top Stock Market News Today, Dec. 15, 2016

  • Shares of General Motors Inc. (NYSE: GM) added more than 0.8% after the company announced plans to begin the production and testing of autonomous vehicles in Michigan.
  • Shares of Mondelez International Inc. (Nasdaq: MDLZ) added more than 4.3% on speculation that the company is about to be acquired. According to Bloomberg, Kraft-Heinz Co. (NYSE: KHC) is considering a bid to purchase the global snack manufacturer. Shares of KHC stock gained 1.1%.
  • In earnings news, shares of Pier 1 Imports Inc. (NYSE: PIR) surged more than 30% after the company hiked its earnings outlook for the December-ending quarter. The home-furnishings retailer said consumers are increasing spending and a number of trends favor its outlook in the months ahead.
  • After the bell, keep an eye on earnings reports from Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL), Adobe Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: ADBE), Jabil Circuit Inc. (NYSE: JBL), and Quanex Building Products Corp. (NYSE: NX).
  • Finally, the holiday shopping season is in full swing, which means it's time to take advantage of the biggest trends this year. And America's No. 1 Trader, Tom Gentile, encourages you to treat your portfolio to the most lucrative "Christmas stock" out there. Here's Gentile's latest stock recommendation.

Friday's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EST)

  • Housing Starts at 8:30 a.m.
  • Atlanta Fed Business Inflation Expectations at 10 a.m.
  • Richmond Federal Reserve Bank President Jeffrey Lacker speaks at 12:30 p.m.
  • Baker Hughes Inc. Rig Count at 1 p.m.

An $80 Billion Cover-Up? Feds use obscure loophole to threaten retirees... Under the watchful eye of Congress, the government will soon be implementing a controversial plan that threatens the retirement of millions of Americans.  And they're using an obscure loophole buried in Title 29 of the US Labor Code to do it. If you have a 401(k), IRA, or any type of retirement account, this could cause you to miss out on $68,870 or more. Full Story

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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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