Investors weren't sure where to focus their attention today,
given geopolitical concerns, mixed earnings reports, and economic
data at home and abroad. The
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
started the day solidly lower, pressured by lackluster earnings
from Pfizer Inc. (
) and worse-than-expected manufacturing data from China. News of
expansion in the services sector turned things around, however, and
the blue-chip index managed to pare a triple-digit loss by midday
before closing with a modest gain.
Trading Topic of the Week
Continue reading for more on today's market, including
-- Ways to Win with Aggressive Trades:
Focus on short-term options
. Combat the negative effects of time decay -- and decrease your
overall risk -- by keeping your time horizon as narrow as possible.
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 16,530.55)
dipped to an intraday low of 16,377.09 early on before solidly
overcoming the breakeven level in mid-afternoon trading. By the
closing bell, the index had added 17.7 points, or 0.1%. The Boeing
Company (BA) led the Dow's 16 advancers, gaining 1.6%, while Pfizer
) shed 2.6% to bring up the rear.
S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,884.66)
faced a similar intraday swing but finished near its highs of the
day, up 3.5 points, or 0.2%. The
Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,138.06)
, meanwhile, closed with a gain of 14.2 points, or 0.3%, after also
spending some time in the red.
CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 13.29)
popped north of the 13 level and snapped its five-day losing
streak. By the closing bell, the market's "fear gauge" had added
0.4 point, or 2.9%.
5 Items on Our Radar Today
- Expansion continues in the services sector, per the latest
findings in the
from the Institute for Supply Management. The reading rose to
55.2 last month from 53.1 in March, exceeding economists'
expectations. It was the index's 52nd consecutive reading north
of 50, which is the level separating expansion from contraction.
- In the wake of a widespread data breach that occurred during
the holiday shopping season, Target Corporation (TGT) President
and CEO Gregg Steinhafel
tendered his resignation
, and relinquished his post as chairman of the board. Taking the
dual role on an interim basis is Chief Financial Officer John
Mulligan, while board member Roxanne Austin will assume the chair
position temporarily. Steinhafel had been with the retailing
giant for 35 years, and served as CEO since mid-2008.
- Speaking with FOX News on Sunday, Dallas Federal Reserve
President Richard Fisher said it was
too soon to begin discussing
an increase in interest rates. Clarifying further, Fisher expects
the central bank's asset-buying program will wind down in October
before an economic analysis can be conducted. Both of these
should happen prior to any discussions about an interest-rate
hike, he said.
(The Wall Street Journal)
- As it gears up for its Thursday afternoon earnings report,
NVIDIA Corporation (NVDA)
saw a influx of bullish activity in its options pits.
BroadSoft Inc (BSFT)
took a sharp post-earnings tumble, spurring bears into
For a look at today's options movers and commodities
activity, head to page 2.
Oil futures reverted lower in Monday's trading, as concerns of
an economic slowdown in China trumped supply worries amid
escalating tension between Russia and Ukraine. The June-dated
contract slipped 28 cents, or 0.3%, to settle at $99.48 per
Gold, on the other hand, benefited from geopolitical concerns.
By the close, gold for June delivery had added $6.40, or 0.5%, to
settle at a three-week high of $1,390.30 an ounce.