Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
traversed another rocky road today, with the blue-chip barometer
once again exploring both sides of breakeven. Fiscal-cliff chatter
remained in focus, with President Barack Obama predicting
"prolonged negotiations" on Capitol Hill, and House Speaker John
Boehner (R-Ohio) confirming that "right now we're almost nowhere."
Nevertheless, the bulls eked out a win by the time the dust
settled, with the Dow finishing a second straight session atop the
Continue reading for more on today's market events,
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Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA)
tacked on 3.8 points, or 0.03%, as 17 of its 30 blue chips ended
higher. Wal-Mart Stores (
) led the advancing equities with a 1.7% gain, while
and Caterpillar (
) paced the 12 decliners, giving up 1.2% apiece. General Electric (
), meanwhile, finished flat. For the week, the Dow advanced 0.1%,
but surrendered 0.5% for the month.
S&P 500 Index (SPX)
settled a seesaw session fractionally higher, and ended the week
with a gain of 0.5%. The
Nasdaq Composite (COMP)
, meanwhile, gave up 1.8 points on the day, but advanced 1.5% on
the week. For the month, the SPX and COMP jumped 0.3% and 1.1%,
CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX)
finished more than 5% higher, ending north of its 10-day moving
average for the first time since Nov. 15. For the week, the VIX
added 4.8%, but swallowed a loss of 14.7% in November.
A Trader's Take
"It was a pretty slow Friday," noted Schaeffer's Senior
Technical Strategist Ryan Detrick. "Sure, we had the usual rhetoric
regarding the fiscal cliff out of Washington, which provided some
intraday volatility, but in the end not a lot happened. Once again,
the bulls defended their turf. It was a Friday, we've had a good
run, there wasn't great news out of Washington, yet the market
still hung tough."
What's more, he says, there could be additional upside in store.
"We are entering the historically bullish timeframe of December,
and things still look good for a Santa Claus rally."
Economic and Earnings News
The Chicago Business Barometer -- better known as the purchasing
managers index (PMI) -- edged up to 50.4 in November from October's
reading of 49.9. That marks a return to growth for U.S.
manufacturing activity, but economists were hoping for a slightly
bigger rise to 50.5.
Consumer spending fell 0.2% in October, said the Commerce
Department, or 0.3% on an inflation-adjusted basis. Incomes rose
0.1% for the month, representing the 11th consecutive sequential
gain. However, the report fell short of consensus expectations,
which called for spending to remain flat and incomes to rise
More Stocks Making News
scored a vote of confidence from Barclays.
extended its journey into record-high territory.
announced plans to cut jobs and bonuses.
was slammed by post-earnings price-target cuts.
disappointing sales data attracted negative analyst
For today's activity in commodities, options, and more, head
to page 2.
In the Options Pits
Crude futures ended higher again today, as signs of
manufacturing growth boosted expectations for demand, while
geopolitical tensions in the Middle East fueled supply concerns. By
the close, January-dated oil added 84 cents, or 1%, to end at
$88.91 per barrel. For the week, black gold tacked on 0.7%, and
jumped 3.1% for the month.
On the other hand, gold futures approached four-week lows, as a
soaring greenback spooked foreign-currency holders. By the bell,
gold for February delivery gave up $16.80, or 1%, to end at
$1,712.70 an ounce. For the week, the yellow metal surrendered
2.2%. For the month, gold backpedaled 0.4%.
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