"Overall, it was a pretty mixed day without a lot of net
movement," said Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell, CMT.
"We received a disappointing housing number this morning, which led
to homebuilders underperforming. In addition, there was news
overnight that the Bank of Japan made no changes to its interest
rate, but did expand its lending facility. The yen has been
receiving a lot of attention lately, as many point to the yen-based
carry trade as being a big driver of this market." By the time the
dust settled, the
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
gave back 24 points, while tech stocks extended their winning
Continue reading for more on today's market, including
... Homebuilder confidence slumps, New York manufacturing activity
slows, and Forest Laboratories, Inc. (
) speculators have a profitable day.
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 16,130.40)
spent most of the session south of breakeven, ending with a loss of
24 points, or 0.2%. Exactly half of the index's 30 blue chips
finished lower, with The Coca-Cola Company's (
) earnings-induced swoon of 3.8% pacing the decliners. Financial
concerns Goldman Sachs Group Inc (
) and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (
) led the advancers, tacking on 0.6% apiece.
S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,840.76)
fared better, adding 2.1 points, or 0.1%. The
Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,272.78)
outperformed its peers, gaining 28.8 points, or 0.7%, to end higher
for the eighth straight session.
CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 13.87)
advanced 0.3 point, or 2.2%, but remained south of the 14 mark.
A Trader's Take
"Healthcare stocks received a boost after some M&A activity
was announced this morning, and small-cap stocks once again took a
leadership role," Bell added. "This is a good sign, as they lagged
for much of the past several weeks."
5 Items on Our Radar Today
- The Empire State
business conditions index
released by the New York Fed hit 4.5 in February versus 12.5 the
previous month. The reading came in below economists'
expectations. One economist noted that manufacturing data has
been weak of late due to "logistical issues caused by severe
- The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo
housing market index
dropped a month-over-month 10 points to 46 in February. Readings
south of 50 are indicative of reduced confidence, as more survey
respondents are reporting poor conditions instead of good. Rough
winter weather across much of the country was likely a
- Two analysts expressed optimism on
Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA)
ahead of the electric automaker's turn in the earnings
confessional tomorrow evening.
Forest Laboratories, Inc. (
options traders scooped up some well-timed long calls in Friday's
trading, ahead of this weekend's buyout news.
- Another new high for
Zynga Inc (ZNGA)
sent short-term call buyers into action.
For a look at today's options movers and commodities
activity, head to page 2.
Crude futures gained momentum atop the century mark, with
March-dated oil tacking on $2.13, or 2.1%, to end at $102.43 per
Gold futures extended their winning streak to nine sessions, as
lackluster economic data bolstered the commodity's "safe haven"
appeal. April gold futures added $5.80, or 0.4%, to settle at
$1,324.40 an ounce.