All three major U.S. stock market indexes ended today’s trading session in positive territory. The Dow Jones Industrial Average index (DJIA) rose 96.88 points, or 0.78%, to close at 12,578.95 while the NASDAQ Composite gained 1.53 percent to 2,769. points. The S&P 500 finished Wednesday at 1,308.04 points, an increase of 1.11 percent.
Crude oil ended Wednesday’s session up 0.3% to $100.88 per barrel while 10-year U.S. Treasury note yields increased 5 basis points to 1.9 percent. Gold rose $4.40 to $1,661.50 per ounce on the day while silver ended at $30.59, a daily increase of $0.37 per ounce.
The Dow jumped approximately 70 points within the first hour of today’s opening bell, and for the most part maintained those gains before posting a late-day market rally leading up to the 4:00pm Eastern Time closing bell. The Nasdaq surged early and maintained a consistent stream of upward trading throughout the day while the S&P 500 index behaved in a similar manner.
Below are the intraday trading stock charts for the Dow Jones, Nasdaq Composite, and S&P 500 indexes.
Insider Trading Probe
Earlier today, the FBI and U.S. Justice Department announced charges of securities fraud and conspiracy against seven people allegedly involved with insider trading of Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL) shares. Anthony Chiasson of Level Global Investors and former Diamondback Capital Management LLC executive Todd Newman were among those taken into custody Wednesday.
Keystone Pipeline Permit Denied
President Barack Obama denied a permit for TransCanada Corp. to build its Keystone XL pipeline, but allowed an opportunity for the company to refile its petition utilizing a revised route that would not interrupt activity of environmentally sensitive areas in the state of Nebraska.
The argument over whether the pipeline is in the best interests of Americans has sparked controversy in recent months as environmentalist ideas clash with those who believe job creation is the nation’s top priority. In a Bloomberg.com article published Wednesday, U.S. Chamber of Commerce head Thomas Donohue said, “The president’s decision sends a strong message to the business community and to investors: keep your money on the sidelines, America is not open for business. By placing politics over policy, the Obama administration is sacrificing tens of thousands of good-paying American jobs in the short term, and many more than that in the long term.”
The Bloomberg article offered a different opinion on today’s ruling by the State Department. National Wildlife Federation VP Jeremy Symons stated, “The entire purpose of the pipeline is to move Canadian oil to the crude refineries in the Gulf so that it can be shipped overseas. If the pipeline is built, Canada gets the jobs, China gets the oil and American families get the oil spills.”
Republican South Carolina Primary
This Saturday, Republican voters in South Carolina will head to the polls to choose their presidential candidate. The primary election could be a “last stand” for Rick Perry, who goes into Saturday needing a significant boost to his numbers in order to remain a viable candidate in the race.
While President Obama is unopposed as the Democratic party’s 2012 presidental candidate, the eventual Republican nominee will not be officially decided until the Republican National Convention in August, which will take place in Tampa, Florida. The state of Florida will hold its closed primary on Tuesday, January 31st. Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney is leading most polls at this point and appears to be the front-runner to win the Republican bid and face-off against Obama in the November general election.
The Stock Market and Retirement Investing
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