"This is a huge week on the news front, and today we did see
some selling, but nothing major," noted Schaeffer's Senior
Technical Strategist Ryan Detrick, CMT. "When you have gross
domestic product (GDP) figures, the Fed's latest rate decision, and
monthly jobs data all due out this week, there is a lot of
positioning needed ahead of that." Against this backdrop, the
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
was hovering south of breakeven by the time the closing bell rang.
Continue reading for more on today's market, including
- Schaeffer's Senior Trading Analyst Bryan Sapp opines that
he's "open for anything and everything" ahead of the Fed's and
European Central Bank's (ECB)
due later this week.
- The latest installment of
The Week Ahead
highlights upcoming events for MasterCard (
) and Sodastream (
- Weekly call buyers pounced on Barrick Gold (
) as the firm prepares to
report quarterly earnings
before this Thursday's opening bell.
Pending home sales slip in June, Caterpillar (
) reveals another share buyback program, and Expedia (
) continues to attract bearish brokerage attention.
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 15,521.97)
spent the entire session parked in the red, hitting an intraday low
of 15,482.27 just before noon. However, the blue-chip barometer
managed to narrow its daily loss to 36.9 points, or 0.2%. The Dow's
seven advancers were led by Caterpillar's (
) 1.2% gain, while Bank of America (BAC) paced the Dow's 23
decliners with a loss of 1.4%.
S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,685.33)
followed a similar path today, and ended up shedding 6.3 points, or
0.4%, by the close. Elsewhere, the
Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 3,599.14)
finished 14 points, or 0.4%, lower.
CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 13.39)
rose to an intraday high of 13.86 before pulling back slightly to
close just 0.7 point, or 5.3%, higher.
A Trader's Take
"It was nice to see more buyouts and mergers," continued
Detrick. "Onmicom (OMC) merged with Publicis, Perrigo (PRGO) bought
Elan (ELN) for $8.6 billion, and Hudson Bay bought out Saks (SKS)
for $2.4 billion. We've seen a big pick-up in deals over the past
few months, and I continue to think this is a sign of improving
confidence that bodes well for the overall economy. If firms
weren't optimistic about the future, they wouldn't be doing all of
3 Things to Know About Today's Market
- The National Association of Realtors (NAR) said
pending home sales
dropped by 0.4% in June, which was attributed to a rise in
mortgage interest rates. However, on a year-over-year basis, home
sales were up 10.9%.
- Caterpillar (
) announced plans to
buy back $1 billion of its shares
from France-based Societe Generale, 11 million of which will be
purchased immediately at current market prices. This latest share
repurchase program comes on the heels of a separate $1-billion
buyback initiative completed just last month.
- Hudson's Bay Co. -- owner of Lord & Taylor --
agreed to acquire Saks (SKS)
for around $2.4 billion, which works out to be $16 per share.
This denotes a 5% premium to Friday's closing price of $15.31.
The buyout is expected to be complete by the end of the year,
although it still requires approval from the luxury retailer's
5 Stocks We Were Watching Today
- Financial giant
Bank of America (BAC)
scored some upbeat brokerage attention at Guggenheim.
- One neutral trader constructed a long straddle on
Cisco Systems (CSCO)
using January-dated options.
was slapped with yet another analyst downgrade following
Thursday's poorly received earnings report.
- Droves of near-term speculators zeroed in on
weekly call options.
- Front-month traders placed bullish bets on
Micron Technology (MU)
, despite today's drop.
For a look at today's options movers and commodities
activity, head to page 2.
Crude oil futures closed at yet another two-week low despite
reports of unrest in the Middle East, due to concerns over a
slowdown of economic growth in China. By the time the dust settled,
September-dated oil was off 15 cents, or 0.1%, to end at $104.55
Meanwhile, gold futures finished higher, as investors await the
Fed's latest monetary policy update. The August contract added
$6.90, or 0.5%, to close at $1,328.40 per ounce.
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