Bears Claim Victory on a Back-and-Forth Day

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"Today was a repeat of yesterday," summarized Schaeffer's Senior Technical Strategist Ryan Detrick, CMT. "Strength early in the day, and then sellers late." The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) traded in a range between 15,049.22 and 14,870.51, ultimately settling with a 0.3% loss. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) , Detrick noted, "continues to have trouble with its 50-day moving average."

Continue reading for more on today's market, including :

  • Why to look for " more volatility this week ," despite the Independence Day holiday, per Schaeffer's Senior Trading Analyst Bryan Sapp.
  • Monthly sales numbers from Ford ( F ) and General Motors ( GM ) sparked bullish attention among the speculative crowd.
  • Elsewhere, Tesla Motors ( TSLA ) saw some excitement of its own, tagging a new record high and attracting short-term weekly call buyers.
plus...
    Auto sales top expectations, options players target the TV sector, and J.C. Penney ( JCP ) sees a rare pop in bearish speculation.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 14,932.41) took investors on a topsy-turvy ride today, entering positive territory shortly after the open, hitting its intraday low around 2:30 p.m. ET, and regaining strength as the closing bell approached to finally settle with a loss of 42.6 points, or 0.3%. Of its 30 components, 12 closed higher on the day, with JPMorgan Chase ( JPM ) gaining 1.3% to lead the charge. At the back of the pack was General Electric (GE), dropping 1.9%.

As referenced above, the S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,614.08) was unable to hurdle its 50-day moving average, closing with a fractional loss of 0.9 point, or less than 0.1%. At its intraday high, the SPX touched 1,624.26, just south of the critical 1,625 level (which coincides currently with the 50-day). The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 3,433.40) also edged fractionally lower today, shedding 1.1 points, or less than 0.1%.

The CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 16.44) rose for the first day in six -- albeit barely. After spending the majority of the session below breakeven, the VIX settled up less than 0.1 point, or 0.4%.

CLOSING SUMMARY - INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY - NYSE AND NASDAQ

A Trader's Take :

"Today was a very light news day, and honestly, the biggest developments were the protests in Egypt," noted Detrick. "With the July 4th holiday looming, tomorrow could be really boring for the market. Volume was very light today, so expect tomorrow to be even lighter, given that it is a half-day. Everyone at this point is waiting on Friday's jobs report -- there's not much more to say."

3 Things to Know About Today's Market :

  • William Dudley, president of New York's Federal Reserve Bank, reiterated his belief that the central bank will maintain its accommodative stance for the foreseeable future, especially if certain economic pulse points don't live up to expectations. Dudley did hint, however, that the pace of economic expansion could "pick up notably in 2014." (BloombergBusinessweek)
  • Auto sales were stronger than expected in June, with Ford ( F ) showing a 13% increase in sales -- its best showing in at least six years. General Motors ( GM ) logged its best month since September 2008, as its sales figure jumped 6%. (The New York Times)
  • The Commerce Department noted that factory orders rose by 2.1% in May, slightly outpacing what economists were expecting. Excluding transportation orders, the reading edged up 0.6%. (Bloomberg)

5 Stocks We Were Watching Today :

  1. Optimistic Facebook (FB) speculators targeted front-month, out-of-the-money positions in an aggressive short-term play.
  2. Groupon (GRPN) was handed a vote of confidence from Wunderlich Securities this morning.
  3. Option Trends across the TV sector -- tracking notable speculative activity in DISH Network (DISH), TiVo (TIVO), and CBS Corporation (CBS).
  4. J.C. Penney ( JCP ) put buyers went against the grain today, scooping up front-month bearish bets.
  5. Micron Technology (MU) was swarmed by long-term call buyers, who are looking for a move to historical highs.

EARNINGS

For a look at today's options movers and commodities activity, head to page 2.

STOCKS - NOTABLE CALL ACTIVITY

STOCKS - NOTABLE PUT ACTIVITY

Commodities :

Mounting geopolitical tensions in Syria and Egypt translated into a boon for black gold. By the time the dust settled, crude oil for August delivery tacked on $1.61, or 1.6%, to finish at $99.60 per barrel -- the highest close for a front-month contract since May 2012.

On the other hand, gold futures finished lower for the first session in three, pressured by a strengthening dollar. By the close, August-dated gold retreated $12.30, or 1%, to end at $1,243.40 an ounce.

SCHAEFFER'S MARKET POSTURE



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This article appears in: Investing , Options

Referenced Stocks: F , GM , JCP , JPM , TSLA

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