"The short-term positive momentum that began earlier this week
continued today," observed Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe
Bell, CMT. "According to the ADP employment report, private-sector
jobs rose by 191,000 in March, which was actually below the
consensus view. We did get a pretty nice upward revision in the
February jobs number, though. And overall, the report did little to
shake the markets, as the slow grind higher continued." The
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
continued to flirt with new-high territory, but narrowly missed the
mark, closing moderately higher.
Continue reading for more on today's market, including
Trading Topic of the Week
- Why MannKind Corporation (
surged out of the gate
(and closed with a gain of nearly 75%).
- Short-term bears
placed bets against Yelp Inc (
, as the stock's implied volatility continues to rise.
- High-frequency trading is in the spotlight once again, but as
Schaeffer's contributor Adam Warner points out, this is "
hardly a new issue
... An update on hiring in the private sector, a big change for
Google Inc (
) shares, and two distinct strategies in Myriad Genetics, Inc. (
-- Trading Low-Priced Options:
DO buy higher-delta options
. The closer an option's delta is to 1.00 (for a call, or negative
1.00 for a put), the likelier it is that the option will retain
some intrinsic value at expiration. This offers you some
"insurance" against the possibility of a total loss.
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 16,573.00)
added 40.4 points, or more than 0.2%, but remains in negative
territory for 2014 by the slimmest of margins. (The blue-chip index
ended 2013 at 16,576.66.) Of the Dow's 30 components, 19 ended the
day higher, led by Caterpillar Inc. (
), which tacked on 2.8%. American Express Company (AXP) paced the
declining minority with a drop of 0.6%.
S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,890.90)
put in another all-time high close, and hit a new intraday peak of
1,893.17. By the close, the index had risen 5.4 points, or 0.3%.
Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,276.46)
slightly lagged its peers, gaining 8.4 points, or 0.2%.
CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 13.09)
ended Wednesday's session down a fraction, losing 0.01 point, after
spending time on both sides of breakeven.
A Trader's Take
"Most equities began the day pretty flat, but slowly churned
higher and the SPX once again made a new all-time high on an
intraday basis," summarized Bell. "Industrial stocks performed
quite well, while technology stocks continued to struggle relative
to many other sectors."
5 Items on Our Radar Today
- ADP's report on private payrolls -- a natural precursor to
Friday's nonfarm payrolls report -- revealed that the private
added 191,000 jobs
last month, with small businesses contributing the most to this
growth. February's reading was revised higher to reflect
additional gains of 39,000.
- Factory orders rose 1.6% in February, the Commerce Department
reported, marking the
biggest monthly increase
since September. The figure came in north of estimates, and was
another indication that the adverse effects of winter weather may
- Google Inc (
) plans to execute a
2-for-1 stock split
after today's close. Additionally, the Internet giant will
introduce two tiers of shares: Class A shares will trade under
the newly introduced "GOOGL," while Class C will retain the
(San Jose Mercury News)
Myriad Genetics, Inc. (
has been targeted by put buyers and sellers ahead of its
quarterly earnings report.
- On the heels of its monthly sales note,
Ford Motor Company (F)
was initiated with a tepid price target and rating at Nomura this
For a look at today's options movers and commodities
activity, head to page 2.
Crude oil fell again today, losing ground for the third
consecutive session. The weekly inventories report revealed an
unexpected drop in supplies, but this was attributed to the brief
interruption of a channel in Houston. By the close, May-dated crude
had backpedaled 12 cents, or 0.1%, to end at $99.62 per barrel.
Gold gained ground after a five-session losing streak, as
investors looked to capitalize on the metal's "safe haven" appeal
ahead of Friday morning's jobs report. The June contract rose
$10.80, or 0.8%, settling at $1,290.80 an ounce.
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