Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
still managed to gain ground today, even with budget talks at a
temporary standstill. While there were several economic data points
hitting the newswires, "overall, it was another slow day ahead of
the upcoming holidays," quipped Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst
Continue reading for more on today's market, including
- A big change on Wall Street, a pre-earnings option strategy
in Research in Motion (
), and a young trader shares some wise words in our Tweet of the
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA)
bounced around breakeven for much of the morning, but committed to
positive territory in early afternoon trading after testing support
at its 10-day moving average. The blue-chip average closed just off
its intraday peak with a 60-point gain, up 0.5%. Just five of the
Dow's 30 names were in negative territory by the close, led by
, which shed 3.4% on disappointing news from its cholesterol drug
trial. Pacing the 25 advancers was Bank of America (
), up nearly 3% today.
S&P 500 Index (SPX)
closed back above the familiar 1,440 level, up 7.9 points, or 0.6%.
Nasdaq Composite (COMP)
finished near breakeven, gaining six points, or 0.2%, on the
The CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX) moved higher as well,
however, tacking on 1.8%, or 0.31 point.
A Trader's Take
"This morning, jobs data was in line with expectations, and
housing data was a little better than expected. We also got our
daily dose of fiscal-cliff news from Washington," recapped Bell.
"The market is still holding its gains from early this week,
though, and even managed to trade higher for much of today's
session. We've rallied more than 7% from our November low," he
pointed out, "and the bulls continue to be resilient as we head
into the end of the year."
3 Things to Know About Today's Market
- Market watchers had several pieces of economic news to digest
today, starting with the final gross domestic product (GDP)
number for the third quarter. The figure expanded by 3.1%,
topping economists' estimates and surpassing the preliminary
estimate. Elsewhere, initial jobless claims increased by 17,000
last week -- matching expectations -- and existing home sales
rose 5.9% in November to reach a three-year high.
- It's the end of an era, as the Big Board -- its own boss for
roughly two centuries -- has been sold to a Southern upstart. The
12-year-old IntercontinentalExchange (
), headquartered in Atlanta, is paying $8.2 billion in cash and
stock to acquire NYSE Euronext (NYX) at a 38% premium from its
Wednesday closing price. The newly formed company will have two
headquarters -- in New York and Atlanta -- and at its helm will
be ICE Chairman/CEO Jeffrey Sprecher and NYX CEO Duncan
Neiderauer, who will move into the role of president.
- On the fiscal-cliff front, the Republican-led House will vote
tonight on a bill backed by House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio,
which effectively keeps tax cuts in place for those making up to
$1 million per year. Passage in the Senate is unlikely, however,
and President Obama has threatened to veto the measure. In his
latest vocal salvo, Boehner declared, "President Obama and Senate
Democrats haven't done much of anything [to ensure a budgetary
compromise before the end of the year] ... I did my part," but
did add that he anticipates working further with the president
toward a solution.
... Boeing (BA) found a suitable proxy for an airplane full of warm
human passengers -- 20,000 pounds of Idaho's finest. Specifically,
the aerospace company used 20,000 pounds of potatoes to test the
effectiveness of in-flight WiFi. A BA spokesperson asserts the
spuds' "interactions with radio-wave signals mimic those of the
Today's Top Tweet
"At this point, unless a politician says something really
dramatic (re: fiscal cliff), markets have become desensitized when
they speak $$"
5 Stocks We Were Watching Today
- Hours before earnings, Research in Motion (
) strategists initiated a
- Under Armour (UA) speculators
project limited downside
over the next several months.
- Option bulls continued to
on Ford Motor (F).
- Merck's (
) pullback today inspired short-term traders to
- FedEx (FDX) scored a
after yesterday's positive earnings report.
Question of the Day
: What is "triple witching?"
: Triple witching happens four times a year, on expiration Friday
during the last month of each quarter. In other words, this
phenomenon occurs on the third Friday of March, June, September,
and December. On this day, stock index futures, stock index
options, and equity options all expire, often prompting increased
volatility, particularly during the final hour of the trading
For a look at today's options movers and commodities
activity, head to page 2.
Oil futures kept moving higher amid wintry weather, with
February futures closing up 15 cents, or 0.2%, at $90.13 per
barrel. Gold futures took a step back, however, with February-dated
gold losing $21.80, or 1.3%, to settle at $1,645.90 an ounce.
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.
All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized reproduction of any SIR publication is strictly prohibited.