"In what may have seemed like a relatively flat day, the market
was really pretty volatile under the surface," reported Schaeffer's
Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell, CMT. "Technology stocks got
hammered relative to many sectors, with biotechnology and solar
names booking huge losses. We also saw many sectors start off
strong, but by the end of the day, most of the major indexes were
near breakeven or in the red." For its part, the
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
spent most of the day in positive territory, but moved south of
breakeven in the final hours of trading, logging a modest daily
loss. For the week, the blue-chip index added 1.5%.
Trading Topic of the Week
Continue reading for more on today's market, including
-- How to Get Started with Options:
Understand that options expire
. Buy-and-holders must remember: With options, the stock needs to
move in your favor -- and the sooner, the better.
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 16,302.70)
flirted with triple-digit gains in the first half of the session,
but ultimately gave back 28.4 points, or 0.2%. Johnson &
) paced the Dow's 14 advancers, adding 1.9%, while Nike Inc (
) led the laggards with a 5.1% decline. For the week, the Dow added
S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,866.40)
also spent most of the session in the black, tagging a record
intraday peak of 1,883.97 out of the gate. By the close, however,
the SPX settled 5.6 points, or 0.3%, lower. The tech-heavy
Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,276.79)
fared the worst of the three; after an initial tick higher, the
COMP steepened its slide as the day progressed, surrendering 42.5
points, or 1%, to finish near a session low. For the week, the SPX
added 1.4%, while the COMP tacked on 0.7%.
CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 15.00)
clawed its way out of the red in afternoon action, adding 0.5
point, or 3.3%. For the week, the "fear barometer" shed 15.8%.
A Trader's Take
"There weren't a lot of economic reports released today, but the
market is still feeling the effects of the remarks made by Janet
Yellen at yesterday's press conference," added Bell. "With perhaps
more people fearful of higher rates, we continued to see financials
outperform and homebuilding stocks underperform."
5 Items on Our Radar Today
- Minneapolis Fed President Narayana Kocherlakota was the
to the central bank's policy shift this week. While others agreed
that a number of factors would be decided to plot the course of
interest rates, the historically dovish Kocherlakota believes the
Fed should have maintained its plan of keeping rates near zero
until unemployment dips south of 5.5%.
- A number of other Fed officials
stepped up to the podium today
, revealing varied opinions on the future of fiscal policy.
Dallas Fed boss Richard Fisher expressed concerns that the new
forward-guidance approach to data analysis is simply "another
fad," while St. Louis Fed President James Bullard noted that that
Chairwoman Janet Yellen's "six months" remark merely echoed what
the private sector had already "penciled in" regarding a rate
(Reuters with additional reporting by CNBC)
- The Federal Reserve found that
29 of the nation's 30 largest banks
have ample strength to withstand a severe economic downturn.
These "stress tests" -- which were implemented in 2009 -- are
performed on all banks with more than $50 billion in assets. The
one name that didn't pass its test was Zions Bancorporation
- With speculators anxious to see what becomes of the Alibaba
Yahoo! Inc. (
witnessed above-average activity in its options pits. (YHOO is a
primary shareholder of the Chinese e-commerce concern.)
Option Idea of the Week
MGM Resorts International (MGM)
might be a winning bet for bullish options traders.
For a look at today's options movers and commodities
activity, head to page 2.
Oil futures moved higher on Friday, amid concerns that continued
strain between Russia and the West might impact global fuel
supplies. The newly front-month May contract rose 56 cents, or
0.6%, to settle at $99.46 per barrel. Comparing front-month
contracts, black gold gained nearly 0.6% week-over-week.
Gold broke its losing streak today, advancing for the first time
all week. The April contract rose $5.50, or 0.4%, to settle at
$1,336 an ounce, as bargain-seeking investors took charge. On a
week-over-week basis, the precious metal slipped 3.1%, marking the
most significant weekly decline since mid-November.