"2013 is clearly off to a good start," exclaimed Schaeffer's
Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell, who added, "pretty much each and
every sector across the board was in the green." A collective sigh
of relief among fiscal-cliff watchers was expressed by a rush in
buying demand that sent the
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
up more than 300 points by the close.
Continue reading for more on today's market, including
- The end to the fiscal cliff debates ... for now, a hedge in
Bank of America (
), and some wise words to start the year via our Tweet of the
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
traded solidly higher on the day, ending pennies away from its
intraday peak with a gain of 308 points, or 2.4%. The index eased
back above its 10-day moving average for its highest finish since
Oct. 18. All 30 Dow names closed in the black, led by
), which gained 5.4%. At the back of the pack was UnitedHealth
), ending up 0.6%.
Also turning in an impressive show of strength was the
S&P 500 Index (SPX)
, which gained 36 points, or 2.5%. The tech sector didn't
disappoint, as the
Nasdaq Composite (COMP)
outperformed its index brethren, surging almost 93 points, or
CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX)
continued its sharp descent, shedding 3.3 points, or 18.5%, to
touch its lowest close since early October.
A Trader's Take
"Today it was clearly all about the deal reached in Washington
to avoid the dreaded fiscal cliff," remarked Bell. "While
short-term concerns were squashed by Congress, fourth-quarter
earnings are right around the corner and the debate and deadline
for spending cuts will be fast approaching," he cautioned. "Many
are evaluating just how effective this plan will be, but there is
no argument that the initial market reaction was positive," Bell
3 Things to Know About Today's Market
- In highly dramatic fashion, the U.S. House of Representatives
convened for an emergency holiday vote to sign off on a
fiscal-cliff avoidance measure. The final version of the deal --
which stopped automatic tax hikes for most Americans but failed
to address the debt ceiling -- was approved by the Senate and the
White House during the wee hours of Tuesday morning. President
Barack Obama advised that there is still work to be done, as
spending cuts for domestic and military programs were only
delayed for two months.
- The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) manufacturing
purchasing managers' index rose to 50.7 in December, exceeding
economists' expectations for an expansion to 50.5. The measure
came in at 49.5 in November, signifying contraction. Elsewhere,
the Commerce Department reported a 0.3% decline in construction
spending for November, marking the first pullback in the figure
in eight months and disappointing economists, who projected a
- Auto industry research firm Polk said new auto sales in the
U.S. could top 15 million this year, which would be a 7% increase
over 2012. The news helped send Ford Motor (
) and General Motors (GM) to
new annual highs
today, but the analysts did note that pre-recession sales levels
in the 17 million neighborhood would not be likely anytime
... while the participants in the Big Game remain anybody's guess,
CBS Corporation (CBS) has nearly sold all of its available ad time.
As of this morning, the network only had two 30-second slots left
to fill, despite the record price tag of up to $3.8 million per
Today's Top Tweet
"Don't listen to anyone (including me). Trade ur plan & do
what works for u. If u don't have a plan, develop one that fits
(Joseph Fahmy), 12:11 p.m.
5 Stocks We Were Watching Today
- Bank of America (
) shareholders employed a
to hedge against an intermediate-term pullback.
- Facebook Inc (FB) enjoyed another bit of
from the brokerage front, as J.P. Morgan Securities increased its
12-month price target by $6.
- Ford Motor (
) rallied to a
new 17-month high
on a positive sales outlook from the Street.
- Short-term Groupon (GRPN) speculators targeted a
move above $5
by week's end.
- Rare-earths name Molycorp (MCP) caught the attention of
bullish short-term traders
Question of the Day
: What were the
-performing stocks in 2012?
: This week's edition of
Monday Morning Outlook
also revealed the stocks posting the biggest losses in 2012,
courtesy of Senior Quantitative Analyst Rocky White.
All stocks included
in the study were trading above $5 at the beginning of the year
with average daily volume of at least 1 million shares. The goat of
the market was NII Holdings (NIHD), which lost 66%, according to
Rocky's research through Dec. 28. Apollo Group (APOL) ranked
second-worst, with a drop of 62%. Other notable underperformers
included Molycorp (MCP) and Diamond Foods (DMND), losing 61% and
For a look at today's options movers and commodities
activity, head to page 2.
Oil futures for February delivery rose $1.30, or 1.4%, to settle
the first day of 2013 at $93.12 per barrel. Earlier today, black
gold hit a three-month peak of $93.87. Gold futures also rose on
the day, as the February contract added $13, or 0.8%, to close at
$1,688.80 per ounce.
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
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