"After yesterday's broad-market sell-off, many sectors finished
in mixed fashion as the week winded down," noted Schaeffer's Senior
Equity Analyst Joe Bell, CMT. "Housing starts and building permits
both came in close to expectations, while Treasury yields continue
to skyrocket, and are now trading near multi-year highs." While the
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
finished off its session low, the index ended the day south of
breakeven, and notched its worst weekly drop so far this year.
Continue reading for more on today's market, including
- Today's edition of
Option Idea of the Week
takes a closer look at the seemingly unwarranted skepticism
surrounding Campbell Soup (
continued to be favored by bullish speculators, who wagered on an
advance for the stock next week.
- Weekly put sellers pounced on Ford Motor (
) in hopes that the security will
stay north of $16
through the end of August.
The latest figures for housing starts were just shy of
expectations, Dell's (
) quarterly earnings report bested the consensus view, and bearish
traders remained enamored with J.C. Penney (
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 15,081.47)
spent time on both sides of breakeven before sinking to an intraday
low of 15,054.38 in the afternoon hours of trading. By the close,
the blue-chip barometer was off 30.7 points, or 0.2%. For the week,
the index shed 2.2%, marking the Dow's steepest weekly loss of
2013. Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) led the Dow's 10 advancers with a gain
of 1.8%, while Verizon Communications (VZ) paced the 19 laggards
with a decline of 1.7%. JPMorgan Chase (JPM) remained
S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,655.83)
was parked in positive territory for a short time this morning, but
ended up closing 5.5 points, or 0.3%, lower. Meanwhile, the
Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 3,602.78)
fell 3.3 points, or 0.1%. On a weekly basis, the indexes lost 2.1%
and 1.6%, respectively.
CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 14.37)
dropped to a session low of 13.62, but narrowed the day's decline
to 0.4 point, or 2.4%, by the closing bell. The "fear gauge"
finished the week with a gain of 7.2% -- and above its 20-week
moving average for the first time in over a month.
A Trader's Take
"Yesterday's downward movement was met with a little bit of
buying today," continued Bell. "While it may take a week or two to
regain any sort of upward momentum, today may be a first step to
building a base for the market to recover."
3 Things to Know About Today's Market
- The Commerce Department said
climbed by a slightly softer-than-anticipated 5.9% in July to a
seasonally adjusted annual rate of 896,000. Meanwhile, building
permits rose by 2.7%, which was almost in line with economists'
projections. Higher mortgage rates may have contributed to last
month's lackluster figures.
- The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan
consumer sentiment index
arrived at a preliminary August reading of 80, marking an
unexpected drop from July's final reading of 85.1, which marked a
six-year high for the index. The pullback -- the largest monthly
decline since December -- may be reflecting the effects of rising
- Dell (
) -- which is embroiled in a takeover battle between founder and
CEO Michael Dell and activist investor Carl Icahn -- revealed an
adjusted second-quarter profit
of $204 million, or 25 cents per share, on revenue of $14.5
billion. Although earnings were down 72% on a year-over-year
basis, the latest results still exceeded expectations for a
per-share profit of 24 cents on sales of $14.2 billion.
5 Stocks We Were Watching Today
Applied Materials (AMAT)
scored a pair of price-target hikes, despite yesterday's
weaker-than-expected quarterly earnings report.
- Speculators continued to show their bullish enthusiasm for
by picking up weekly calls.
- Bearish traders were unimpressed by chatter of a potentially
strong back-to-school season for
J.C. Penney (
- Put buyers showed a relatively rare interest in
Lululemon Athletica (LULU)
, and bet on near-term losses for the yoga apparel guru.
experienced another surge in put volume, this time within the
October series of options.
For a look at today's options movers and commodities
activity, head to page 2.
Crude oil futures finished higher for a sixth straight day,
thanks to lingering worries over supply concerns out of
violence-stricken Egypt. By the time the dust settled,
September-dated oil tacked on 13 cents, or 0.1%, to end at $107.46
per barrel. For the week, crude advanced 1.4%.
Meanwhile, gold futures notched another day in the black, as
ongoing tapering concerns continued to boost the precious metal.
The December-dated contract added $10.10, or 0.7%, to finish at
$1,371 an ounce. On a weekly basis, gold climbed 4.5%. Elsewhere,
silver futures finished their strongest week in almost five years,
with the front-month contract soaring 14% to a three-month high of
$23.32 an ounce.