"Today was all about the economy," quipped Schaeffer's Senior
Equity Analyst Joe Bell. "Meanwhile," he added, "the Federal
Reserve said its asset repurchase program would continue, but that
did little to stop the slight decline in the broad market." The
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
spent the majority of the day in the red and settled near its
intraday low, with the 14,000 level still beckoning overhead.
Continue reading for more on today's market, including
- Senior Trading Analyst Bryan Sapp is intrigued by the price
action in a few gauges for "
- Some Facebook (
ahead of earnings.
- Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) attracted
short-term options traders
around the debut of the BlackBerry 10 and the company's impending
- The Fed speaks, the GDP drops, and Zynga (
) attracts bearish speculators.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
was all over the map today, but went into the red for good
following this afternoon's release of the Federal Open Market
Committee report and decision to keep short-term interest rates
near zero. It was only the third down day in 15 sessions for the
blue-chip index, which fell to 13,910.42, down 44 points, or 0.3%.
Only nine members of the 30-company Dow advanced, led by The Boeing
), which jumped 1.3% to close at $74.59 following a
strong earnings result
. At the bottom of the 21 decliners was General Electric Company (
), which dropped 1.2% to close at $22.23.
Other indices also fell, with the
S&P 500 Index (SPX)
dropping nearly 6 points to close at 1,501.96, down 0.4%. But the
SPX stayed above the key 1,500 level for the fourth straight day
and was down for only the second time in 11 sessions. And the
Nasdaq Composite (COMP)
fell to 3,142.31, shedding 11 points, or 0.4%.
CBOE Volatility Index (VIX)
reflected all the uncertainty, climbing 7.6% to close at 14.32
-hitting its highest point since the first two sessions of
A Trader's Take
"Aside from the GDP and Fed news, Amazon.com (
) released earnings last night that were well received by the
Street today," noted Bell. "While the news didn't lift the broad
market, some of the tech-heavy indices showed relative
3 Things to Know About Today's Market
- The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), the Federal
Reserve's policy-making body,
that it was keeping short-term interest rates at their current
low level near 0%. The FOMC also said it would continue to buy
bonds as part of its effort to further stimulate the economic
recovery, and that it was seeing improvement in the housing
sector. It said economic growth slowed in the fourth quarter
because of weather events such as Hurricane Sandy and other
(The New York Times)
- The U.S Gross Domestic Product
fell by a 0.1% annual rate
in the fourth quarter of 2012, as reported by the Commerce
Department. It was the first such contraction since the second
quarter of 2009 (the official end of the Great Recession) and
compared to a growth rate of 3.1% in the third quarter of last
year. The number will be revised, however, two more times during
the next two months.
- Private employers
added 192,000 new jobs in January
, according to payroll processor ADP's monthly report. ADP also
cut its estimate of new December jobs to 185,000, down from the
previously reported 215,000.
5 Stocks We Were Watching Today
- Online retail giant Amazon.com, Inc. (
was a big target
for short-term options players looking to cash in on volatility
surrounding the company's earnings release.
- Short-term bears were
betting against a recent bounce higher
in online game maker Zynga Inc (
- Chesapeake Energy Corporation (CHK)
drew a lot of front-month call action
on the heels of strong price action and news that its CEO would
- Exxon Mobil (XOM)
at Macquarie ahead of its earnings release on Friday.
- Hoping to cash in on inflated implied volatility levels, Las
Vegas Sands Corp. (LVS) speculators
sold both calls and puts
For a look at today's options movers and commodities
activity, head to page 2.
Crude futures notched another new four-month high, dismissing a
larger-than-expected increase in U.S. inventories in favor of the
Fed statement, which spurred hopes for a continued
low-interest-rate environment. The March contract for oil rose 37
cents, or 0.4%, to $97.94 per barrel, its highest reading since
Sept. 14. Elsewhere, gold reacted positively to the surprise
contraction in the fourth-quarter GDP. February futures for the
yellow metal gained $19.10, or 1.2%, to settle at $1,679.90 per
At the end of every market day, the staff at Schaeffer's
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