Blue Chips Bounce Higher, But Close the Week in the Red

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"We ended the week on a mixed note, as volatility remains with us," noted Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell, CMT. "Technology was the big laggard today, after Oracle Corporation ( ORCL ) issued a worse-than-expected earnings report that sent the shares plummeting." Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) recovered from a midday dip into the red to close with a slight gain for the day.

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

plus...
    One Fed member begs to differ, European stocks drop into the red, and Amazon.com ( AMZN ) shareholders look for protection.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 14,799.40) started higher out of the gate, descended into negative territory by late morning, and recovered to end the session with a modest gain of 0.3%, or 41.1 points. The blue-chip index remains below its 80-day moving average, however, and surrendered 1.8% for the week. Of the 30 Dow components, 19 managed to finish the day in the black, led by Procter & Gamble ( PG ), which gained 2.9%. Bringing up the rear was Hewlett-Packard ( HPQ ), which suffered a 2.3% loss.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,592.43) also edged higher, adding 0.3%, or 4.2 points, but remaining south of the 1,600 level and its 80-day trendline. Underperforming its index peers was the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 3,357.25), which fell 7.4 points, or 0.2%. This week, the SPX dropped 2.1%, while the COMP declined 1.9%.

The CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 18.90) plunged 7.8%, or 1.6 points, after yesterday's spike higher that took it above the 20 threshold. Still, the VIX surged 10.2% for the week.

CLOSING SUMMARY - INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY - NYSE AND NASDAQ

A Trader's Take :

"Treasury yields continue to rise, which isn't helping the stock market too much," added Bell. "Surprisingly, utilities and healthcare stocks have outperformed in the midst of underperformance from most major sectors. Financials and homebuilders continue to struggle, as rumors have surfaced that U.S. regulators are thinking about increasing the capital requirements for large banks."

3 Things to Know About Today's Market :

  • James Bullard -- president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis -- had some criticism for his colleagues today. Specifically, he opined that the timing of Fed Chief Ben Bernanke's tapering intimation was inappropriate , and believes the central bank should have waited to see further evidence of economic recovery. (Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis)
  • Oracle Corporation ( ORCL ) took a tumble after its fourth-quarter earnings report revealed disappointing demand for cloud computing services and other new software. Excluding items, the software company earned 87 cents per share, matching estimates, while revenue fell short of expectations. In other news, the company announced plans to move from the Nasdaq exchange to the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), pending approval. (The Washington Post)
  • European stocks headed lower today, on the heels of yesterday's steep plunge in stateside equities. In fact, one widely followed benchmark -- the FTSEurofirst 300 -- fell into negative territory for 2013, reaching levels not touched since December. (Reuters)

5 Stocks We Were Watching Today :

  1. Short-term Tesla Motors (TSLA) bulls focused on the $100 mark.
  2. Ford Motor (F) option bears wagered on a multi-month retreat in the automaker.
  3. Nervous Amazon.com ( AMZN ) shareholders may have scooped up out-of-the-money puts as portfolio protection.
  4. Alcatel Lucent (ADR) (ALU) secured two upgrades and a price-target increase this morning.
  5. Call buyers took an increased interest in Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NOK) , betting on a short-term rally above the $4 level.

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 :

Oil futures moved lower today, with the newly front-month August contract dropping $1.45, or 1.5%, to end at $93.69 per barrel. For the week, the front-month contract lost almost 4.3%.

Gold edged higher today, but the gains paled in comparison to Thursday's drubbing. August-dated futures added $5.80, or 0.5%, to settle at $1,292 an ounce. On a weekly basis, the precious metal dropped $95.60, or 6.9%.

SCHAEFFER'S MARKET POSTURE



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This article appears in: Investing , Options

Referenced Stocks: AMZN , DPZ , HPQ , ORCL , PG

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