Bears Lose Their Grip as the Dow Rallies 114 Points

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Equities started slow but then bolted higher, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) surged nearly 137 points at its session high. "We were hit with some disappointing jobs numbers this morning, and then some great housing numbers. The housing data boosted homebuilding stocks, but the overall market really didn't pop until after lunch," said Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell. "I think most investors are soaking in the fact that we had another round of good earnings last night, and the beat rate continues to be very impressive."

Keep reading to see what else was on our radar today:

  • Upbeat pending home sales data pushed the XHB higher .
  • Equities Analyst Bryan Sapp examined why the bears haven't taken control of the market .
  • Plus, Bell checked in on the recently overlooked mid caps .
And now, a look at the numbers...

CLOSING SUMMARY - INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY - NYSE AND NASDAQ

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 13,204.62) swelled 114 points, or 0.9%, to land just below its late-session peak of 13,227.82. Twenty-four of the Dow's 30 components settled with wins, as Wal-Mart ( WMT ) led the outperforming issues with a 2.8% upswing. Conversely, Exxon Mobil ( XOM ) paced the losing blue chips with a 0.9% loss, stemming from its first-quarter earnings miss.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,399.98) pierced 1,400 in afternoon trading today, but couldn't maintain its footing. By the time the dust cleared, the SPX gained 9.3 points, or 0.7%.

After enjoying its best performance of the year on Wednesday , the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 3,050.61) kept the positive momentum going and added 21 points, or 0.7%.

The CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 16.24) fell for a third consecutive day, peeling back 3.5%. The VIX was able to repair some of its losses and closed above its session low of 15.75.

Newsmakers...

Initial jobless claims fell by 1,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 388,000, said the Labor Department , as the previous week's claims were upwardly revised to 389,000 from 386,000. The report was softer than projected, as estimates called for a decline to 376,000.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) said its pending home sales index jumped 4.1% in March to 101.4, marking an 11-month high. By contrast, economists were looking for a gain of just 1.3%. On a year-over-year basis, the index was up 12.8% last month.

Today's highlight : "The market may be picking up a little bit of positive momentum. The SPX broke out above the top if its range near the 1,390 area, and the Russell 2000 Index ( RUT ) is displaying strength as well," noted Bell. "Bulls would love to keep the earnings momentum going and finally put this range-type behavior behind them."

Turning to today's major market stories...

For today's activity in commodities, options, and more, head to page 2.

Oil futures notched their third straight win today, climbing back from an early deficit brought on by poorly received jobless data. A strong increase in pending home sales, as well as a faltering greenback, helped the dollar-denominated commodity find its footing in positive territory. While stocks continued their march higher, June-dated crude edged up 43 cents, or 0.4%, to end at $104.55 a barrel.

Gold futures rallied to their best price since April 12, getting a boost from the Federal Reserve's indication that QE3 is not yet out of the question. As the dollar weakened, gold for June delivery tacked on $18.20, or 1.1%, to close at $1,660.50 an ounce.

Levels to Watch in Trading :

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 13,204.62) - support at 11,500; resistance at 14,000
  • S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,399.98) - support at 1,100; resistance at 1,500
  • Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 3,050.61) - support at 2,400; resistance at 3,400

OUTPERFORMING AND UNDERPERFORMING SECTORS

STOCKS - MOVERS

STOCKS - EARNINGS

STOCKS - NOTABLE CALL ACTIVITY

STOCKS - NOTABLE PUT ACTIVITY

For today's notable annual highs and lows, click here .

SCHAEFFER'S MARKET POSTURE

At the end of every market day, the staff at Schaeffer's Investment Research reviews the trading day in detail, covering major events and key market developments. Don't miss this critical, timely and insightful report. If you enjoyed today's edition of Market Recap, sign up here for free daily delivery straight to your inbox.



The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized reproduction of any SIR publication is strictly prohibited.


This article appears in: Investing , Options

Referenced Stocks: MID , RUT , WMT , XHB , XOM

Schaeffer's Investment Research

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