"It was a very slow day, without a lot of big news," noted
Schaeffer's Senior Technical Strategist Ryan Detrick, CMT. "We will
have hundreds of earnings and a Fed meeting later this week,
though," he added, "so expect more volatility to come soon." In
today's trading, the
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
pegged another new multi-year high out of the gate but spent much
of the day slightly below breakeven, ultimately closing with a
Continue reading for more on today's market, including
- Senior Trading Analyst Bryan Sapp reviews the key levels to
watch and an interesting metric to consider during the "
big week ahead
- Options action
in Facebook Inc (
) ahead of earnings, with speculators honing in on both calls and
- For the first time in 2013, the VXX failed to hit a
new lower low
, and Schaeffer's Contributor Adam Warner has the details.
- Fitch Ratings dismisses its earlier threat, Yahoo! (
) speculators prepare for earnings, and Nokia (
) strategists expect limited volatility.
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
wasn't able to muster a seventh consecutive up day, despite
notching a new multi-year peak of 13,915.72 in early trading. At
the closing bell, the blue-chip index was off 14 points, or 0.1%.
Leading the dozen Dow names that moved higher today was Caterpillar
), which rose nearly 2% after its
. Bringing up the rear was Alcoa (
), which closed with a 1.4% loss.
S&P 500 Index (SPX)
spent the majority of the session trading below the breakeven mark
but closed little changed, down 2.8 points or 0.2%, to stay
(narrowly) atop the 1,500 mark. The
Nasdaq Composite (COMP)
outperformed thanks to strength in some of its major components;
the index closed 4.6 points higher, up 0.2%.
CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX)
gained 5.3% on the day, as investors anticipated a week chock-full
of news. After hitting an intraday peak of 13.91, the VIX closed up
A Trader's Take
"When you consider how supposedly overbought the market is here,
not to have much of a pullback on a slow news day is rather
impressive," observed Detrick. "We saw mixed news today on the
economic front, with strong durable-goods data but lackluster
pending housing sales numbers. Still," he continued, "Caterpillar (
) reported earnings and had some positive things to say regarding
demand for the second half of 2013. Right now, it is all about
outlooks, and hopefully CAT has started a trend that we'll see
throughout earnings season."
3 Things to Know About Today's Market
- Apple Inc. (AAPL)
iOS 6.1, the operating system's first major update since
September. Included among the new features is 4G LTE support for
additional carriers. Meanwhile, the stock powered almost 2.3%
higher as investors emerged for a little bargain hunting.
- Fitch Ratings said a downgrade of the U.S. credit rating is
no longer imminent
, thanks to the recent debt-ceiling agreement in Washington. The
agency said policymakers now have room to concentrate on
"substantive fiscal policy choices," with the fiscal-cliff and
debt-ceiling crises currently averted.
- Durable goods orders
in December, topping the expected increase of 1.8%. Excluding
transportation numbers, orders were 1.3% higher last month, above
estimates for a 0.7% increase.
5 Stocks We Were Watching Today
- Nokia (
) strangle sellers expect
through the next several weeks.
- Yahoo! (
) option players
ahead of the company's earnings report.
- Meanwhile, VMware (NYSE:VWM) saw
before its earnings report.
- LinkedIn (LNKD) weekly option buyers
expect new highs
are on the horizon.
- Toyota Motor (TM) again ascended to
among global automakers.
For a look at today's options movers and commodities
activity, head to page 2.
Strong durable-goods orders at home and supply concerns in the
Middle East helped boost oil futures to a 19-week high, although
the front-month contract pared some of its intraday gains. March
futures added 56 cents, or 0.6%, to settle at $96.44 per barrel.
Gold futures continued their downward trek, however, as the U.S.
dollar gained strength. The February contract dropped $3.70, or
0.2%, to end the day at $1,652.90 an ounce.
At the end of every market day, the staff at Schaeffer's
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