Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
spent most of the session swimming in red ink, thanks to
uninspiring blue-chip earnings and a round of lackluster economic
data. Most notably, first-time unemployment filings and regional
manufacturing activity felt the wrath of Superstorm Sandy, while
gross domestic product (GDP) figures from the euro zone only
exacerbated concerns about the global economy. Against this
backdrop -- and despite a valiant eleventh-hour rebound attempt by
the bulls -- stocks ended yet another session south of breakeven.
Continue reading for more on today's market events,
Everything You Need to Know
: Your one-stop shop for levels to watch, economic data, earnings
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Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA)
explored a range of more than 100 points today -- most of it in the
red -- but found intraday support in the 12,500 region. Despite
paring most of its losses by the close, the blue-chip barometer
finished 28.5 points, or 0.2%, lower, bringing its losing streak to
three straight sessions. The index's components were split in
direction, with Cisco Systems' (
) 1.6% gain leading the 13 advancing equities, and
Wal-Mart Stores (
bringing up the rear with an earnings-induced loss of 3.6%.
UnitedHealth Group (
) finished flat.
It was a seesaw session for the
S&P 500 Index (SPX)
, which gave up 2.2 points, or 0.2%, by the time the dust settled.
Nasdaq Composite (COMP)
also trimmed its deficit in the final hour of trading, but
ultimately swallowed a loss of 9.9 points, or 0.4%.
CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX)
extended yesterday's advance, adding 0.4% after topping out at
A Trader's Take
"Let's just call this a 'broken record' market," said Senior
Technical Strategist Ryan Detrick. "The bulls tried, but in the end
the bears simply beat them down yet again. I wish I had more to
say, but there really wasn't anything very new that moved the
markets today. We're extremely oversold, yet any and all bounces
are still sold."
Looking ahead, "You could argue that we're a day closer to a
bottom, which is at least something for the bulls," continued
Detrick. "Meanwhile, November-dated options expire tomorrow, so be
on your toes, as this can produce some volatile moves in individual
Economic and Earnings News
Initial jobless claims jumped by 78,000 last week to a
seasonally adjusted 439,000, said the Labor Department, rising well
beyond the consensus estimate of 375,000. The weekly results
included an uptick from Superstorm Sandy amid factory closures and
other related interruptions. The four-week moving average of
first-time jobless claims rose by 11,750 to 383,750.
The Empire State manufacturing index arrived at negative 5.22 in
November -- a modest improvement from its October perch at negative
6.16. This marked the fourth consecutive month of contraction in
New York-area factory activity. However, economists had been
bracing for an even bleaker reading of negative 8.2.
The Philadelphia Fed's manufacturing index deteriorated to
negative 10.7 in November from the previous month's reading of 5.7.
The report was far worse than expected, as economists were looking
for a reading of 2.0. The central bank attributed the dismal
reading, in part, to "the disruptive effects of Hurricane
The consumer price index (CPI) rose 0.1% in October, noted the
Labor Department, with the inflation rate cooling amid lower
gasoline prices. Excluding food and energy prices, the core CPI
climbed 0.2% last month. Economists, on average, expected gains of
0.1% in both the headline and core CPI.
Optimism waned during the week ended Nov. 14, according to the
latest sentiment survey by the American Association of Individual
Investors (AAII). The percentage of respondents with a bullish view
on stocks fell to 28.8% from 38.5%, while the percentage bearish
surged to 48.8% from 39.9%. The percentage neutral increased to
22.4% from 21.6%.
More Stocks Making News
For today's activity in commodities, options, and more, head
to page 2.
In the Options Pits
Crude futures backpedaled for the third time in four sessions,
as lackluster economic data and the latest inventories report
weighed on expectations for demand. Domestic stockpiles jumped by
1.09 million to 375.9 million barrels last week, marking a
three-month high, as production climbed to an 18-year peak. By the
close, December-dated crude shed 87 cents, or 1%, to finish at
$85.45 per barrel.
Gold futures also took a tumble, thanks to escalating concerns
about ebbing demand. The World Gold Council said that in tonnage
terms, global gold demand fell a year-over-year 11% in the third
quarter, thanks to a scaled-back appetite in China. In value terms,
year-over-year demand dropped 14% to $57.6 billion, while the
average price of gold fell 3% to $1,652 an ounce. Against this
backdrop, gold for December delivery surrendered $16.30, or 0.9%,
to end at $1,713.80 an ounce.
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