Dow Finishes Down But Only Barely

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"We came in with Europe down across the board after some disappointing economic data from various countries ... but in the end, you have to be impressed with the U.S. market's resiliency here," said Schaeffer's Senior Technical Strategist Ryan Detrick, CMT, of today's trading, which saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) grind out a minor loss, dropping just 9 points.

Continue reading for more on today's market, including :

plus...
  • A break-even day on the markets, some really expensive ketchup, and how option traders reacted to the new airline merger involving US Airways ( LCC ) and American Airlines.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) tread water for most of the day, slipping in and out of winning territory before finally finishing at 13,973.39, down nearly 10 points, or 0.1%. Alcoa Inc. ( AA ) led the 14 advancers on the 30-member Dow, jumping 2.1%. The 21 decliners were led by Coca-Cola ( KO ), which fell 1% and continues to drop after this week's disappointing earnings report.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX) gained slightly on the day, picking up more than 1 point, or nearly 0.1%, to close at 1,521.38. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP) also won on the day, finishing at 3,198.66, up nearly 2 points, or 0.1%.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) finished at 12.66, down 0.3 point, or 2.5%.

CLOSING SUMMARY - INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY - NYSE AND NASDAQ

A Trader's Take :

"The market has had all the reasons in the world to sell off the past few weeks, yet it hasn't -- you have to like seeing that action," Detrick said. "It was another day of more new highs from small and mid-caps ... One other big-time positive is the recent big upward trend in mergers and acquisitions."

3 Things to Know About Today's Market :

  • Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A) today announced it was buying the venerable food maker H.J. Heinz Company (HNZ) for $28 billion. (MarketWatch)
  • Beer maker Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD) today altered the terms of its proposed $20 billion merger with Grupo Modelo to try and satisfy U.S. antitrust regulators who have sued to oppose the deal on competitive concerns. (CNNMoney)
  • Jobless claims dropped by 27,000 as compared to last week's figure, soundly beating analysts' estimates -- and continuing claims now stand at a five-and-a-half year low. (Reuters)

5 Stocks We Were Watching Today :

  1. The officially announced merger between US Airways ( LCC ) and the parent of American Airlines drew long-term bets that LCC's stock wouldn't fall.
  2. Staying on the airline theme, one trader executed a bull call spread on Delta Air Lines (DAL).
  3. Juniper Networks (JNPR) was the target of a blizzard of short-term calls, with traders looking to cash in at tomorrow's close.
  4. As soon as Crocs (CROX) announced its next earnings date, bearish put traders pounced , hoping for a second consecutive earnings miss.
  5. AOL (AOL) saw its stock pull back 2% yesterday, and short-term bearish investors looked to cash in by the end of the week.

EARNINGS

For a look at today's options movers and commodities activity, head to page 2.

STOCKS - NOTABLE CALL ACTIVITY

STOCKS - NOTABLE PUT ACTIVITY

Commodities :

Oil futures carved out a minor win Thursday despite a gain by the U.S. dollar. Crude for March delivery added 30 cents, or 0.3%, to close at $97.31 per barrel.

But the dollar's rise did push gold futures down, as April-dated gold fell $9.60, or 0.6%, to end at $1,635.50 per ounce -- its lowest daily finish since Aug. 20.

SCHAEFFER'S MARKET POSTURE

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.



The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized reproduction of any SIR publication is strictly prohibited.


This article appears in: Investing , Options

Referenced Stocks: AA , BBRY , KO , LCC , TGT

Schaeffer's Investment Research

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