Dow Digs Out of Triple-Digit Hole to Peek Above Breakeven

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) burned off more than 108 points at its session low, but was able to repair this deficit by the closing bell. "Overall, it's been another day of earnings reports and a lot of company-specific news. Add it all up, and we have a market that is all over the place, with several sectors moving in different directions," noted Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell. "A lot of the leaders are underperforming today, while stocks within the steel and coal sectors are continuing their strong momentum from the past several weeks."

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

And now, a look at the numbers...

CLOSING SUMMARY - INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY - NYSE AND NASDAQ

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 13,345.89) endured a triple-point swing today, touching an intraday peak of 13,368.55 and a session low of 13,235.15. By the close, however, the blue-chip barometer parked near breakeven, turning in a slim 2.4-point rise, as its 50-day moving average loomed above. Thirteen of the Dow's 30 components ended in positive territory today, as Hewlett-Packard Company ( HPQ ) and UnitedHealth Group Inc. ( UNH ) paced the outperformers with gains of 1.6% apiece. Microsoft Corporation's ( MSFT ) 2.2% pullback was the worst of the 17 losing issues.

Although the S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,433.81) spent the majority of session mired in red ink, the index managed to move fractionally higher on the day, running into resistance at its 50-day trendline. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 3,016.96) bounced from the 3,000 level in early-afternoon trading , and settled with a 11.3-point, or 0.4%, rise.

The CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 16.62) lost its early momentum and drifted lower by 0.4 point, or 2.6%, though it kept its perch atop its 80-day moving average.

Today's highlight : " Caterpillar Inc. ( CAT ) was the big earnings report this morning, and the stock responded relatively well to its mixed showing," said Bell. "Technology is even playing a little catch-up and outperforming the broad market. Unfortunately for most sectors, this isn't enough, and we are seeing a decent amount of weakness across the board."

Noteworthy stats at the close:

  • The equity put/call volume ratio across all 10 options exchanges ended at 0.87, with roughly 7.1 million calls and 6.22 million puts traded.
  • The put/call volume ratio on the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (NYSEARCA:VXX - 34.55) checked in at 0.87, with calls eclipsing puts.
  • The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) showed an advance/decline ratio of 0.94, as the number of upward movers slightly outpaced downwardly tilted stocks. In similar fashion, the advance/decline ratio on the Nasdaq stood at 0.93.

Explore our Trading Floor Blog and Daily Options Blog for coverage on today's big stories, including:

And, in case you missed it ... call players have converged on OpenTable Inc (OPEN) amid rumors of interest from Yahoo! Inc (YHOO).

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

Crude futures extended last week's slide, and notched a second consecutive day in the red on demand concerns. The now-expired contract for November-dated oil slipped $1.32, or 1.5%, to land at $88.73 a barrel -- marking the commodity's lowest price since Oct. 3.

Gold futures snapped their losing streak, thanks to a bout of bargain hunting. Many speculators are staying on the sidelines to see what comes of the Federal Open Market Committee's (FOMC) two-day meeting, which ends on Wednesday. By the close, December-dated gold tacked on $2.30, or 0.1%, to end at $1,726.30 an ounce.

Levels to watch in trading...

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 13,345.89) - support at 11,500; resistance at 14,000
  • S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,433.81) - support at 1,100; resistance at 1,500
  • Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 3,016.96) - support at 2,400; resistance at 3,400

OUTPERFORMING AND UNDERPERFORMING SECTORS

STOCKS - MOVERS

STOCKS - EARNINGS

STOCKS - NOTABLE CALL ACTIVITY

STOCKS - NOTABLE PUT ACTIVITY

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: CAT , HPQ , MSFT , S , UNH

Schaeffer's Investment Research

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