"The negative momentum continued today, although small-caps
actually became the leader rather than the laggard," noted
Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell, CMT. "After a strong
November jobs report, December is off to a very weak start so far.
Much of this can be attributed to late-year profit taking, but the
short-term trend is definitely down right now." As tapering fears
continued to plague investors, the
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
closed in the red for a third consecutive session.
Continue reading for more on today's market, including
Weekly jobless claims rose more than expected, retail sales
gained ground in November, and Starbucks Corporation (
) attracted a rare group of put buyers.
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 15,739.43)
faltered yet again today, and sank to an intraday low of 15,703.79
around midday. By the close, the blue-chip index was down 104.1
points, or 0.7%. The Dow's six advancers were led by Exxon Mobil
) 1.2% gain, while a 2.3% drop for The Coca-Cola Company (
) paced the 24 decliners.
S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,775.50)
also spent most of the session south of breakeven, and settled 6.7
points, or 0.4%, lower. Meanwhile, the
Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 3,998.40)
shed 5.4 points, or 0.1%, for the day.
CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 15.54)
reached an intraday high of 16.09 around 12:30 p.m. ET today, but
pared some of its gains to finish just 0.1 point, or 0.8%,
A Trader's Take
"Again, the best thing about today's market was the performance
of small-caps," Bell reiterated. "After lagging the rest of the
market since the end of November, they all of a sudden became the
front-runners. Some strength from this area could be a good sign,
as small-caps led for most of the rally this year."
3 Things to Know About Today's Market
- The Labor Department said
first-time jobless claims
climbed by 68,000 last week to 368,000 -- surpassing consensus
estimates, and marking their highest level in two months.
Meanwhile, the four-week moving average for new filings rose by
6,000 to 328,750.
rose by 0.7% in November, according to the Commerce Department.
This latest figure marked the largest increase in five months,
and slightly exceeded economists' projections.
- Facebook Inc (FB) surged today amid news that it will be
joining the S&P 500 Index (SPX)
at the end of next week, replacing Teradyne, Inc. (TER). The
Internet stock will also replace Williams Companies, Inc. (WMB)
on the S&P 100 Index (OEX). In other news, FB unveiled a
new version of Instagram
, its popular photo-sharing service.
(BloombergBusinessweek, USA Today)
5 Stocks We Were Watching Today
Apple Inc (AAPL)
received a bullish brokerage note following a lawsuit development
involving Samsung Electronics Co.
- Option bears showed an unusual interest in
Starbucks Corporation (
, and scooped up the java giant's near-term puts.
Groupon Inc's (GRPN)
sentiment backdrop reveals a bearish bias toward the security,
despite its technical prowess.
- Put volume accelerated on
Molycorp Inc (MCP)
, as speculators wagered on record lows for the mining
- Short-term traders targeted
Twitter Inc (TWTR)
, with both call and put players showing a preference for weekly
For a look at today's options movers and commodities
activity, head to page 2.
Crude futures eked out a minor gain today, as a rise in retail
sales strengthened energy demand projections. By the time the dust
settled, the January contract tacked on 6 cents to end at $97.50
Conversely, gold futures declined amid fears that a possible
tapering of the Fed's asset-buying program is imminent.
February-dated gold fell $32.30, or 2.6%, to close at $1,224.90 an
ounce -- marking the largest single-session percentage and point
decline since early October.
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