"It was a very quiet day on Wall Street, with below-average
volume," said Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell, CMT.
"Between the holiday week and the big storm in the northeastern
part of the United States, we really experienced a lack of
participation. The technology-rich Nasdaq Composite (COMP) slightly
lagged the rest of the market, as Apple Inc. (
) -- a large component in the index -- was down 2.2%. Elsewhere,
financials and industrials were the real standouts today, and
airline stocks logged another impressive session." Meanwhile, the
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
advanced for the day, but edged lower for the week.
Continue reading for more on today's market, including
Ben Bernanke defended his run as Fed chairman, December auto
sales news hit the Street, and
Facebook Inc (
received a bullish brokerage note.
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 16,469.99)
experienced some choppy price action throughout the session, but
finished 28.6 points, or 0.2%, higher on the day. For the week,
however, the blue-chip index shed roughly 0.1%. The Dow's 15
advancers were led by Johnson & Johnson (
) -- which gained 0.9% -- while Verizon Communications Inc. (
) led the 15 laggards with a drop of 1.2%.
S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,831.37)
spent time on both sides of breakeven, and ended up closing with a
modest loss of 0.6 point, or 0.03%. Meanwhile, the
Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,143.91)
fell 11.2 points, or 0.3%. On a weekly basis, the indexes lost 0.5%
and 0.6%, respectively.
CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 13.76)
stumbled at the start of the session, and finished 0.5 point, or
3.3%, lower. Week-over-week, however, the "fear barometer" advanced
5 Items on Our Radar Today
- Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke
defended the central bank's monetary policies
during the American Economic Association's annual meeting.
Although he noted that the economy still has a long way to go, he
also said that "for the most part, research supports the
conclusion that the combination of forward guidance and
large-scale asset purchases has helped promote the recovery."
- General Motors Company (GM) said the
auto industry's December sales
would likely arrive at an annualized rate of 15.6 million
vehicles, which would fall short of consensus estimates. However,
it is still projected to be the best year for auto sales since
Facebook Inc (
received an upward price-target adjustment at BofA-Merrill Lynch
in pre-market action.
- The latest
Option Idea of the Week
Yelp Inc (YELP)
could be poised for additional gains.
Citigroup Inc (C)
has seen extreme levels of bullishness among both speculators and
For a look at today's options movers and commodities
activity, head to page 2.
Crude futures closed in the red again today, as a spike in oil
supplies -- along with forecasts for increased oil projection out
of Libya -- dragged prices lower. By the time the dust settled, the
February contract fell $1.48, or 1.6%, to end at $93.96 per barrel.
For the week, crude shed 6.3%.
Meanwhile, gold futures continued to rebound, with
February-dated gold adding $13.40, or 1.1%, to finish at $1,238.60
an ounce. On a weekly basis, the precious metal advanced 2%.
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