Dow Beats a Path Lower on Retail Sales Data, Euro-Zone Anxiety

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"Retail sales came out slightly worse-than-expected, and we also got word that last month's figure was revised lower," observed Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell. "This marks the second consecutive month of declining retail sales numbers. With looming uncertainty out of Europe and continued lackluster domestic data, the market steadily grinded lower today." With that, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) plummeted nearly 113 points in the last two hours of trading, keeping the wishy-washy week on Wall Street alive.

Keep reading to see what else was on our radar today:

  • The SPDR S&P 500 Trust ETF ( SPY ) may quietly be forming a bullish pattern .
  • See how well the Dow performs when a Democrat is seeking re-election.
  • Fear Factory: safe-haven bonds and the CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX) .
And now, a look at the numbers...

CLOSING SUMMARY - INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY - NYSE AND NASDAQ

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 12,496.38) gave back a large chunk of Tuesday's gains, closing with a loss of 77.4 points, or 0.6%. In the last hour of trading, the Dow was off nearly 113 points, tagging a session low of 12,453.69 five minutes ahead of the close before a surge of buying power at the closing bell. Twenty of the 30 blue chips declined today, as American Express ( AXP ) and Home Depot ( HD ) paced the laggards with losses of 2.4% apiece. Johnson & Johnson ( JNJ ) led the seven outperformers with a 2.2% jump, while AT&T ( T ), Coca Cola (KO), and Pfizer (PFE) finished unchanged.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,314.88) also turned in a loss, pulling back 9.3 points, or 0.7%. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 2,818.61) suffered a similar fate, and lopped off 24.5 points, or 0.9%, by the closing bell.

The CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 24.27) bounced higher today, rising 9.9%, to find a perch south of its session peak of 24.93.

Today's highlight : "Jamie Dimon and the JPMorgan entourage visited Congress earlier today ," said Bell. "I'm not sure we learned anything new, but it was interesting to watch Dimon answer questions from a group of people that didn't really know the difference between a hedge and a wedge."

Turning to today's major market stories...

For today's activity in commodities, options, and more, head to page 2.

Oil futures turned south today, erasing all of yesterday's gains on disappointing U.S. retail data. Despite the Energy Information Administration's (EIA) report that oil stockpiles fell last week, July-dated crude slipped 70 cents, or 0.8%, to settle at $82.62 a barrel.

On the contrary, this morning's lackluster economic data, as well as continuing anxieties out of the euro zone, buoyed gold futures to a fourth straight session win. By the close, gold for August delivery added $5.60, or 0.4%, to land at $1,619.40 an ounce.

Levels to Watch in Trading :

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 12,496.38) - support at 11,500; resistance at 14,000

  • S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,314.88) - support at 1,100; resistance at 1,500

  • Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 2,818.61) - support at 2,400; resistance at 3,400

OUTPERFORMING AND UNDERPERFORMING SECTORS

STOCKS - MOVERS

STOCKS - EARNINGS

STOCKS - NOTABLE CALL ACTIVITY

STOCKS - NOTABLE PUT ACTIVITY

For today's notable annual highs and lows, click here .

SCHAEFFER'S MARKET POSTURE

At the end of every market day, the staff at Schaeffer's Investment Research reviews the trading day in detail, covering major events and key market developments. Don't miss this critical, timely and insightful report. If you enjoyed today's edition of Market Recap, sign up here for free daily delivery straight to your inbox.



The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized reproduction of any SIR publication is strictly prohibited.


This article appears in: Investing , Options

Referenced Stocks: AXP , HD , JNJ , SPY , T

Schaeffer's Investment Research

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