"Despite the scary open, it was encouraging to see equities grow
stronger through the end of the day," noted Schaeffer's Senior
Equity Analyst Joe Bell, CMT. "The intraday reversal had to be the
best thing about today's market." The
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
started Thursday's session well below breakeven -- hitting an
intraday low of 15,180.23 -- but emerged in positive territory
about two hours before the close, ultimately ending with a minor
Continue reading for more on today's market, including
Asian markets take a plunge, housing numbers continue to surge,
and Pandora Media (
) bulls bet big before tonight's earnings.
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
traded in another wide range, from 15,180.23 a half-hour after the
opening bell, to 15,348.41 roughly an hour before the close. While
the bears ultimately claimed victory, it was a modest one, as the
index dropped just 12.7 points, or 0.08%, to close at 15,294.50.
Nine of the index's 30 members moved higher, with Hewlett-Packard (
) rocketing up 17% after its
well-received earnings report
. At the back of the pack, pacing the 21 decliners, was Alcoa (
), down 1.7% today.
S&P 500 Index (SPX)
didn't manage to hit another new all-time high today (for the first
day in five), and in fact closed down 4.8 points, or 0.3%, at
1,650.51. This was well off its intraday low, however, of 1,635.53.
Nasdaq Composite (COMP)
edged down 3.9 points, or 0.1%, to settle at 3,459.42.
All of the market movement drove the
CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX)
up 1.8%, or 0.3 point, to 14.07. It was the fear barometer's first
close above 14 since May 1.
A Trader's Take
"Initial weakness on overseas price action was followed by a
steady rebound throughout the day," summarized Bell. "This allowed
most stocks to finish well off their lows and near or above
breakeven. The initial jobless claims report helped matters, as it
dropped back down below 350,000 -- a good sign for the labor
3 Things to Know About Today's Market
- U.S. markets struggled in early trading due to market malaise
in the Far East. Japan's Nikkei
dropped more than 7%
-- its worst single-day pullback in two years -- while the
preliminary HSBC China Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index
(PMI) dipped below 50, revealing a drop in factory activity in
the world's second-biggest economy.
(The Wall Street Journal)
- Initial jobless claims
declined by more than expected
, falling 23,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 340,000. The
smoothed-out four-week moving average inched down 500 to 339,500,
just shy of a five-year low.
- New home sales
rose by 2.3% last month
(and surged 29% on a year-over-year basis) to a seasonally
adjusted annual rate of 454,000. The median sales price for new
homes was $271,600 last month, and inventory held firm at a
(Los Angeles Times)
5 Stocks We Were Watching Today
- Pandora Media (
) call buyers bet big on a
- Hewlett-Packard (
) enjoyed a healthy dose of
bullish brokerage attention
this morning after its quarterly earnings report last night.
- One put buyer scooped up 5,000
in Bank of America (BAC).
- Western Digital (WDC) option bears continue to
bet against the uptrend
flocked to Ford Motor Company (F) today, in a departure from
For a look at today's options movers and commodities
activity, head to page 2.
Oil futures barely budged today, as traders weighed gloomy
Chinese data against a pair of stronger-than-forecast reports on
the U.S. economy. Crude oil for July delivery lost just 3 cents to
end at $94.25 per barrel.
Gold futures bolted higher, supported by a steep downturn in the
U.S. dollar. August-dated gold -- the most active contract --
climbed $24.40, or 1.8%, to finish at $1,392.80 per ounce.