Blue Chips Snag Weekly Win Despite Losing Session

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"The key market driver this morning was the jobs report, which revealed better-than-expected data," noted Schaeffer's Senior Trading Analyst Bryan Sapp. "Despite the strong number, stocks sold off. This could be a sign of increased geopolitical concerns, or an indication that the market is beginning to discount a rate hike sooner than previously expected. Earnings, meanwhile, continue to come in strongly, as most companies are beating expectations. Bulls will want to see this trend continue." Once again, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) , traded above and below the flat line, but settled with losses.

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

  • Critical chart levels, the month's best (and worst) stocks, Apple Inc.'s ( AAPL ) new high , and five other things you may have missed this week.
  • Will the market's choppy price action ever end ? Schaeffer's contributor Adam Warner reflects on historical trends and offers his prediction.
  • Reading the Charts: Why this natural gas name could be positioned for more upside .
  • Plus ... The nonfarm payrolls report is better than expected, the U.S. and Germany team up, and BlackBerry Ltd ( BBRY ) sees additional bullish attention.
Trading Topic of the Week -- Tips to Trade Like the Pros: Manage your money carefully . Don't be careless with your cash -- keep an eye on those allocations, and know your exit plan before you enter.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 16,512.89) peeked into positive territory early on, but drifted lower by mid-morning, closing with a loss of 46 points, or 0.3%. For the week, however, the blue-chip index tacked on 0.9%. One dozen Dow names managed to close higher, with The Boeing Company ( BA ) in the lead, rising 1.2%. Pacing the declining majority was Merck & Co., Inc. ( MRK ), down 2.4% today.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,881.14) continued to flirt with the 1,880 level, giving back 2.5 points, or 0.1%, by the closing bell. The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,123.90) pared its early gains as well, ending off 3.6 points, or 0.1%. On a weekly basis, the SPX rose almost 1% while the COMP gained 1.2%.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 12.91) fell for the fifth consecutive session, slipping 0.3 point, or 2.6%, to close south of the 13 level for the first time since Jan. 22. This week, the VIX lost 8.2%.

CLOSING SUMMARY - INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY - NYSE AND NASDAQ

5 Items on Our Radar Today :

  1. The U.S. added 288,000 jobs in April , the Labor Department reported, easily surpassing economists' expectations. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate fell by more than expected to 6.3%, marking the lowest reading since immediately before the late-2008 financial crisis. Wages were flat, however, and workforce participation was at a 36-year low. (Bloomberg)
  2. President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel issued a joint statement from the White House today , indicating more severe sanctions could befall Russia if it interferes with Ukraine's scheduled presidential election on May 25. Russian President Vladimir Putin "needs to be dissuaded from his current course," stated Obama. (Associated Press, via ABC News)
  3. A recent crop of J.C. Penney Company, Inc. ( JCP ) options bulls is hoping for another post-earnings surge after the company reports later this month.
  4. Bullish traders continued to flock toward BlackBerry Ltd ( BBRY ) amid the stock's impressive weekly gains.
  5. Apple Inc. ( AAPL ) scored a price-target hike from analysts at Jefferies, who see $700 in the iPhone parent's sights.

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 :

Crude futures bounced higher after two days in the red, as today's strong nonfarm payrolls report backed an optimistic outlook for energy demand. By the bell, the June contract had added 34 cents, or 0.3%, to close at $99.76 per barrel. Week-over-week, however, oil logged a modest 0.8% drop.

Gold finished higher for the first time this week, as escalating geopolitical concerns bolstered the yellow metal's safe-haven appeal. The June contract rose by $19.50, or 1.5%, bringing gold north of $1,300 to $1,302.90 an ounce. The day's jump was enough to put gold in positive territory for the week by almost 0.2%.

SCHAEFFER'S MARKET POSTURE



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This article appears in: Investing , Options

Referenced Stocks: AAPL , BBRY , BA , MRK , JCP

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