"After an incredibly strong week, today's attention was back on
individual company earnings reports, and overall, the price action
was mixed," noted Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell, CMT.
"A bit of consolidation here makes sense, as many market
participants may wait for better entry opportunities." Against this
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
closed south of breakeven, while the
S&P 500 Index (SPX)
reached a new technical milestone.
Continue reading for more on today's market, including
- Schaeffer's Senior Trading Analyst Bryan Sapp points out an
area that could cause a
"speed bump or two"
for the S&P 500 Index (SPX).
- Check out this week's
to see which designer -- Michael Kors (
) or Coach (
) -- comes out on top.
- Aggressive option bulls rolled the dice on a significant move
higher for this
well-known Internet stock
over the next four weeks.
Existing home sales declined, McDonald's (
) hinted at a weak fourth quarter, and Google's (
) new high beckoned call buyers.
Aside from a few brief blips higher, the
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 15,392.20)
spent most of the day in the red, and touched a session low of
15,362.66 around 11:00 a.m. ET. By the closing bell, the index was
off 7.5 points, or 0.1%. General Electric (
) led the Dow's 13 advancers, extending its post-earnings gains
with a 2.3% rise, while Boeing (BA) paced the 17 decliners with a
loss of 0.9%.
S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,744.66)
was also parked in negative territory for much of the session, but
still managed to tag a record intraday peak of 1,747.79. By day's
end, the index was up 0.2 point, or 0.01% -- enough to reach
another all-time closing high. Meanwhile, the
Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 3,920.05)
touched a 13-year intraday high of 3,931.45, and added 5.8 points,
or 0.2%, by the close.
CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 13.16)
spiked higher right out of the gate, but pared its gains throughout
the afternoon. Still, the "fear barometer" added 0.1 point, or
0.9%, for the session.
A Trader's Take
"Technology stocks once again took a leadership role, something
investors are getting used to," Bell went on. "Shares of Apple
(AAPL) helped boost the sector today, as the equity continues its
strong momentum that began in mid-September."
3 Things to Know About Today's Market
- The National Association of Realtors said
existing home sales
fell by a seasonally adjusted 1.9% in September to a yearly rate
of 5.29 million, reflecting a steeper drop than what was
projected by economists. Meanwhile, August's figure was
downwardly revised to 5.39 million from an initial estimate of
5.48 million, which had marked a six-year peak.
- McDonald's (
) reported a 4.6% increase in
to $1.52 billion, or $1.52 per share -- besting the consensus
view by a penny -- while revenue rose 2.4% to $7.32 billion.
However, MCD shares trended lower today after the burger chain
forecast a drop in fourth-quarter margins.
- JPMorgan Chase (JPM) reached a
tentative agreement with the U.S. Justice
today, under which it will pay $13 billion -- the highest
settlement on record -- to terminate civil claims regarding the
sale of faulty mortgage bonds to companies including Fannie Mae
and Freddie Mac. However, the deal will not protect JPM from
possible criminal liabilities.
5 Stocks We Were Watching Today
prepares to report quarterly earnings next week, the stock scored
some bullish analyst attention this morning.
- Traders bet on a move higher for
General Motors (GM)
over the next few months by picking up December- and
- With earnings looming on the horizon, call volume ramped up
-- particularly in the front-months series of options.
positive price action triggered a flurry of call activity from
option bulls -- or, potentially, hedging short sellers.
- A new record high for
prompted speculators to scoop up the search-engine giant's weekly
calls in hopes of further gains.
For a look at today's options movers and commodities
activity, head to page 2.
Crude futures finished at their lowest price since July 1, after
the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) revealed a
larger-than-expected increase in oil supplies for the week ended
Oct. 11. By the close, the November contract shed $1.59, or 1.6%,
to end at $99.22 per barrel.
Conversely, gold futures climbed higher today, as traders
nervously anticipated the release of September's nonfarm payrolls
data. December-dated gold tacked on $1.20, or 0.1%, to finish at
$1,315.80 an ounce.
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