"It was an incredibly calm day without a lot of movement," said
Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell, CMT. "McDonald's (
) reported worse-than-expected earnings, but did little to put a
damper on the market. Financial stocks continued their upward
momentum, as many banking stocks have beaten analyst expectations
this earnings season." As a result, the
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
ended up closing modestly higher.
Continue reading for more on today's market, including
- Schaeffer's Senior Trading Analyst Bryan Sapp opines that
"all eyes are on the round-number 1,700 level" for the
S&P 500 Index (SPX)
and takes a closer look at Apple (
- The latest installment of
The Week Ahead
includes upcoming events for Adobe Systems (
) and D.R. Horton (
- Speculators kept up their
to Molycorp (
), despite the stock's year-to-date decline.
Existing home sales unexpectedly dropped, McDonald's (
) hinted at weak full-year guidance, and Apple (
) scored some upbeat analyst attention on earnings eve.
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 15,545.55)
spent time on both sides of breakeven today, as Wall Street
digested the latest batch of earnings reports. At one point, the
index climbed to an intraday high of 15,576.21, but erased most of
its gains to finish just 1.8 points, or 0.01%, higher. Microsoft
(MSFT) led the blue-chip barometer's 18 advancers with an increase
of 1.9%, while McDonald's (
) paced the 12 decliners with a loss of 2.7%.
S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,695.53)
tagged a new all-time intraday high of 1,697.61, and finished the
session just shy of this milestone with a gain of 3.4 points, or
0.2%. Meanwhile, the
Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 3,600.39)
fared the best of its peers, adding 12.8 points, or 0.4%.
CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 12.29)
hovered in negative territory for most of the day to finish 0.3
point, or 2%, lower -- marking the lowest close since
A Trader's Take
"We are in the heart of earnings season, with a ton of companies
reporting this week," continued Bell. "As alluded to earlier,
financials have stood out above the rest during the first few weeks
of earnings season. With only about 20% of the companies reporting
so far, we still have a long way to go."
3 Things to Know About Today's Market
Existing home sales
declined by 1.2% in June to an annual pace of 5.08 million units,
according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). However,
although economists had expected an increase to 5.25 million,
last month's figure was still the highest since November 2009. On
a year-over-year basis, home resales were up 15.2%.
- McDonald's (
) was in the negative spotlight today, following the release of
second-quarter earnings results
. The popular burger chain reported a profit of $1.40 billion, or
$1.38 per shares, south of analysts' estimates of $1.40 per
share. Also, global same-restaurant sales are expected to hold
steady in July. Adding insult to injury, CEO Don Thompson stated,
"Based on recent sales trends, our results for the remainder of
the year are expected to remain challenged."
- Internet giant Yahoo! (YHOO)
inked an agreement
with Third Point LLC to repurchase 40 million shares of the hedge
fund's common stock. Such a move will leave Third Point -- who
had been a key shareholder -- with roughly 20 million shares, or
less than 2%. The deal is a step closer toward YHOO's plan to buy
back about $2 billion worth of its stock.
5 Stocks We Were Watching Today
received a bullish brokerage note ahead of its turn in the
earnings confessional post-close tomorrow.
- Weekly call buyers zeroed in on the
SPDR Gold Trust (NYSEARCA:GLD)
, as prices for the precious metal surged.
- Recent weakness on the charts may have triggered some
negative analyst attention for
- One optimistic trader wagered on some long-term upside for
Micron Technology (MU)
by scooping up LEAPS calls.
- August call sellers bet on price stagnation for
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD)
over the next several weeks.
For a look at today's options movers and commodities
activity, head to page 2.
Crude oil futures were volatile today ahead of August
expiration, and ended up finishing the session in the red. By the
time the dust settled, August-dated oil was off $1.14, or 1.1%, to
close at $106.91 per barrel.
Meanwhile, gold futures notched their largest daily advance
since June 2012, buoyed by weakness in the greenback. By the
closing bell, the August contract soared $43.10, or 3.3%, to end at
$1,336 an ounce -- the malleable metal's highest finish in nearly a
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