U.S. market indexes were higher Wednesday as valuations continued to gain. For the day the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 18005.05 for a gain of 66.77 points or 0.37 percent. The S&P 500 was also higher, closing at 2119.12 for a gain of 6.99 points or 0.33 percent. The Nasdaq Composite also gained with a closing value of 4974.64, up 12.89 points or 0.26 percent. The VIX Volatility Index was stable at 14.10 for a gain of 0.05 points or 0.36 percent.


Source: DJIA, S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite. Google Finance.

Wednesday’s Market Movers

The economic calendar was light on Wednesday with only a few economic indicators. The Mortgage Bankers Association reported a weekly increase of 9.3 percent in mortgage applications as rates are likely to remain lower for longer. The Energy Information Administration reported a decrease of -3.2 million barrels in U.S. oil inventory and oil prices were also higher for the day. The Quarterly Services Survey was also released showing an increase in information and technology services revenue of 1.3 percent from the previous quarter and 5.7 percent annually.

Stocks trading actively for the day included Gevo, Comtech Telecomunication, Oil-Dri Corporation of America, Amazon and ABM Industries.

Amazon traded higher after the company announced a $3 billion investment in India. The stock gained 2.90 points or 0.40 percent to $726.64.

In the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the following stocks led gains:

UnitedHealth Group 2.53 percent

Caterpillar 1.69 percent

Visa 1.3 percent

Pfizer 1.18 percent

Merck 1.09 percent

Top sectors for the broad market were industrials and consumer staples. In technology, the Nasdaq Composite gained with a closing value of 4974.64, up 12.89 points or 0.26 percent. The Nasdaq 100 was also higher closing at 4520.63 for a gain of 7.54 points or 0.17 percent. Stocks leading gains in the Nasdaq 100 included the following:

Alphabet 11.84 percent

Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp. 0.89 percent

Tesla Motors Inc. 3.18 percent

In commodities, gold traded higher as evidenced by the SPDR Gold Trust which reported a gain of 1.76 points or 1.48 percent. Oil traded higher reaching $51 a barrel. The dollar was lower for the day as the U.S. Dollar Index was down -0.23 points or -0.25 percent to 93.62.

Small-Cap Stocks

In small-caps, the Russell 2000 was higher at 1188.95 for a gain of 8.98 points or 0.76 percent. The S&P 600 closed at 726.38 for a gain of 6.23 points or 0.87 percent. The DJ Small-Cap Growth TSM closed at 7308.96 for a gain of 37.72 points or 0.52 percent. The DJ Small-Cap Value TSM closed at 8507.68 for a gain of 60.01 points or 0.71 percent.

Other Notable Indexes

Other notable index closes included the S&P 400 Mid-Cap Index which closed at 1525.14 for a gain of 6.40 points or 0.42 percent; the S&P 100 which closed at 935.27 for a gain of 3.04 points or 0.33 percent; the Russell 3000 which closed at 1252.20 for a gain of 4.51 points or 0.36 percent; the Russell 1000 which closed at 1174.37 for a gain of 3.85 points or 0.33 percent; and the Dow Jones U.S. Select Dividend Index which closed at 604.10 for a gain of 1.79 points or 0.30 percent.