"The S&P 500 Index experienced an inside day today," noted
Schaeffer's Senior Options Strategist Tony Venosa, CMT, pointing
out that the index's total daily trading range (1,552.52 to
1,562.60) was contained within yesterday's intraday range. "Market
participants were clearly awaiting tomorrow's employment report for
March," he added. Meanwhile, despite rising concerns out of North
Korea and words of caution from the European Central Bank, the
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
finished higher after a few midday blips into negative territory.
Continue reading for more on today's market, including
- Markets finish higher in choppy trading, the Bank of Japan
makes a grand gesture, and Sirius XM Radio (
) traders expect a sharp drop.
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
beat the odds to close with a gain of 56 points, or 0.4%, at
14,606.11, following an intraday test of its 10-day moving average.
Of the Dow's 30 components, 25 closed in positive territory, led by
), which tacked on 1.8% following a pair of analysts' upgrades this
morning. International Business Machines (
) and Alcoa (
) paced the five decliners, giving back 0.6% each.
S&P 500 Index (SPX)
had a winning day as well, adding 6.3 points, or 0.4%, to 1,559.98,
a hair above its own 10-day moving average. Finally, after spending
much of the day in negative territory, the
Nasdaq Composite (COMP)
managed to settle higher, up 6.4 points, or 0.2%, closing at
It was an odd day for the
CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX),
which spiked to an intraday high of 14.79 -- up 4.1% from
Wednesday's close -- before closing off 0.3 point, down 2.3% at
A Trader's Take
"The decision by the Bank of Japan to launch its own massive
quantitative easing program helped buoy our markets," Venosa
observed. "Also, the basic materials sector -- which has been
beaten down the most this year -- helped lead the markets higher
3 Things to Know About Today's Market
- Weekly jobless claims were a disappointment,
rising by 28,000
to a seasonally adjusted four-month high of 385,000. Economists
had expected the reading to decline.
- In an aggressive effort to achieve its 2% inflation target
within the next two years, the Bank of Japan pledged to
double its monetary stimulus
to roughly $1.4 trillion by the end of 2014. The central bank
plans to buy both long-term debt as well as less traditional
securities such as
- Facebook Inc (FB) did not, as many had assumed, announce its
own smartphone today, but instead
unveiled an interface
Android phone users can download free of charge as early as next
week. Facebook Home will allow users to "see [their] world
through people, not apps," according to Facebook CEO Mark
(Los Angeles Times)
5 Stocks We Were Watching Today
- Sirius XM Radio (
) bears bet on a
over the longer term.
- Citigroup (C) optimists expect a
by the end of Friday's trading.
- Netflix (NFLX) call buyers took a very
- Applied Materials (AMAT) saw a
shift in direction
among short-term option traders.
- First Solar (FSLR) option pits were crowded with
put buyers and put sellers
For a look at today's options movers and commodities
activity, head to page 2.
A four-month high in U.S. jobless claims, together with dreary
remarks from European Central Bank (ECB) leader Mario Draghi,
combined forces to pressure oil into the red. By the close,
May-dated oil futures were off $1.19, or 1.3%, at $93.26 per
Gold also shifted lower on the day, though the precious metal
did bounce back from its intraday low. June gold futures settled
with a loss of $1.10, or 0.1%, at $1,552.40 per ounce.
At the end of every market day, the staff at Schaeffer's
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