"After a sharp sell-off toward the end of the day yesterday,
major markets rebounded quite nicely today," said Schaeffer's
Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell on a day that saw the
Dow Jones Industrial Average
bounce back into positive territory on another big swing. "The
February consumer confidence figure was better than expected, which
helped keep the markets afloat. Investors also took notice of
Bernanke's testimony to Congress, but his remarks had a familiar
tone to them with no major surprises."
Continue reading for more on today's market, including
- The markets make another swing back up, what Fed Chairman
Bernanke told Congress about the "sequester" and QE3, and how
Level 3 Communications (
) drew a lot of call trading despite a recent technical
Thanks in part to strong consumer confidence numbers, the
Dow Jones Industrial Average
overcame Monday's jitters over Europe and Italy early, shaking off
Tuesday's poor results from overseas -- and then rallied further on
the comments by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. The Dow
gained 116 points, jumping 0.8% to finish at 13,900.13. Of the 30
companies on the Dow, 23 advanced, led by Home Depot (
), which climbed 5.7% on a surprisingly positive earnings report.
) was unchanged. The six decliners were led by UnitedHealth (
), which fell 0.5%.
S&P 500 Index (SPX)
also won the day, climbing 9 points, or 0.6%, to close at 1,496.94
-- but failed to crack the 1,500 barrier for the second straight
day. That's the first time the SPX has finished below 1,500 for two
straight days since this level was overcome on Jan. 25. The
Nasdaq Composite (COMP)
gained 13 points, or 0.4%, to finish at 3,129.65.
After the biggest one-day jump since August 2011 on Monday, the
CBOE Volatility Index (VIX)
calmed down a bit, dropping 2.1 points, or 11.2%, to close at
A Trader's Take
"The best thing about today's session had to be the housing
data," Bell said of today's market action, which was also impacted
by an increase in the average home price, according to the monthly
Case-Shiller index. "Homebuilders have been getting hit hard the
last few days and this morning's better-than-expected data helped
push the sector higher."
3 Things to Know About Today's Market
- Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke
made it clear
in his semi-annual address to Congress that the QE3 program of
bond-buybacks being used to stimulate the economy would continue.
He also urged Congress to avoid the impending "sequester," the
$85 billion in automatic spending cuts set to begin March 1.
- Megabank JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) is planning to
cut 4,000 jobs in 2013
and shrink operations over the next two years. CEO Jamie Dimon
announced these cuts to those attending the company's investor
day, reversing earlier calls for more growth.
- The music industry reported its
in global sales in more than a decade, with record sales growing
0.3% in 2012.
(The New York Times)
5 Stocks We Were Watching Today
- Telecommunications firm Level 3 Communications (
) is much lower after its Feb. 11 earnings report, but that
didn't stop traders
from buying up calls at a fast pace, perhaps to protect shorted
- Bears continued their
today on Clearwire Corporation (CLWR), buying 35 times the normal
amount on the wireless technology firm.
- Morgan Stanley (MS) also was
the bearish crowd, which is counting on a slide lower for the
- One straddle buyer made
a big bet
on a big move in either direction from Ford Motor Company
- Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) found itself the center of
of bearish traders looking for a short-term slide over the next
couple of weeks.
For a look at today's options movers and commodities
activity, head to page 2.
Crude futures closed down Tuesday, primarily because of the
uncertainty created by Italy's anticlimactic general elections. Oil
for April delivery dropped 48 cents, or 0.5%, to end the day at
$92.63 per barrel -- a new year-to-date low for the contract.
Gold advanced, however, capitalizing on a fresh safe-haven bid.
April-dated gold advanced $28.90, or 1.8%, to close at $1,615.50
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
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