"Today felt almost like a repeat of the past several trading
sessions," said Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell, CMT.
"Small rallies were met with selling, and buyers came in on the
dips. With that being said, small-caps and technology continue to
lag and look very weak under the surface." During the course of the
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
partially recovered from an early morning sell-off to finish with a
Continue reading for more on today's market, including
Trading Topic of the Week
- BlackBerry Ltd (
) options traders rushed to place bets
ahead of tomorrow morning's earnings report
... and much of the activity centered on short-term calls.
- Option bulls gambled on a
short-term recovery in Herbalife Ltd. (
shares, as the company makes efforts to clarify its marketing
in case you missed it
, here's a sample of
how the Twitterverse reacted
to yesterday's rocky debut of 'Candy Crush' developer King
Digital Entertainment PLC (
... The final word on last quarter's gross domestic product
(GDP), big news for Microsoft Corporation's (
) Windows users, and short-term shenanigans in the Tesla Motors
) options pits.
-- Tips for Buying Weekly Options:
Focus on liquid names with narrow bid/ask
. There are two major benefits here -- ease of entry and exit, and
lower risk of slippage.
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 16,264.23)
spent time on both sides of breakeven, traded within a 109-point
range, and ultimately settled on a minor loss of 4.8 points, or
just 0.03%. Still, 16 of the Dow's 30 components managed to close
in the black, led by Exxon Mobil Corporation (XOM), which rose
1.6%. Pacing the declining minority was International Business
Machines Corp. (IBM), down 1.5% today.
S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,849.04)
also endured choppy trading on the day, peeking into positive
territory this morning before closing down 3.5 points, or 0.2%, and
below the 1,850 support level. Tech stocks underperformed again,
Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,151.23)
down 22.4 points, or 0.5%.
CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 14.62)
also fell, shedding 0.3 point, or 2.1%, during the session. The
"fear barometer" did, however, spend the majority of the session
A Trader's Take
"We actually received some pretty decent economic news this
morning, as the weekly jobless claims report was better than
expected, while the fourth-quarter GDP reading came in above the
preliminary estimate," Bell continued. "Perhaps some market
participants are selling good news in anticipation of higher rates
sooner rather than later. Whatever the case may be, we are
definitely seeing a pickup in intraday volatility this year,
relative to most of 2013."
5 Items on Our Radar Today
- The third and final reading for the
fourth-quarter 2013 GDP
reflected economic growth of 2.6%, just shy of economists'
expectations. The reading was north of February's 2.4% outlook,
but below the 3.2% advance estimate reported in January.
Initial jobless claims
fell during the week ended March 22 to a four-month low, the
Labor Department reported. Economists had expected a slight
increase in the figure. Elsewhere, the
monthly pending home sales figure
dropped to its lowest level since October 2011, amid rising
interest rates and brutal winter weather.
(FOX Business; Reuters)
- Microsoft Corporation (
launched a version of its Office software
that is compatible with Apple Inc.'s (AAPL) iPad. The product
debuted in the App Store today, and is free of charge for those
wanting to read and present content. Those wishing to edit or
create content need an Office 365 subscription, which is $99.99
- Following some bad news from the Federal Reserve,
Citigroup Inc (C)
received lots of negative attention from Wall Street.
- Eleventh-hour option traders descended into the
Tesla Motors Inc (
options pits, with decidedly different motives.
For a look at today's options movers and commodities
activity, head to page 2.
Oil futures approached a three-week high today, due to global
supply concerns and declining inventories of black gold. By the end
of the day, the May contract had tacked on $1.02, or 1%, to settle
above the century mark at $101.28 per barrel.
Gold futures slid below $1,300 per ounce for the first time in
roughly six weeks, as the dollar advanced amid well-received
economic reports. At the close, the April contract was off $8.70,
or 0.7%, to settle at $1,294.70 an ounce.