Dow Notches 97-Point Gain Despite Lingering Syria Concerns

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"Economic data was light today, as Syria continues to hover in the background," observed Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell, CMT. "There are some rumors that Congress has delayed making a decision on the issue at this point, so many market participants remain unsure of how exactly this will play out. Overall, it was nice to see the market show some resilience at the start of September, amid all of the uncertainty over Syria and the Fed." Against this backdrop, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) finished the day with a near-triple-digit gain.

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

  • Schaeffer's Senior Trading Analyst Bryan Sapp explains why he's "sticking with the bear case" for the near term, and offers up a bullish trading idea on DuPont ( DD ).
  • A broader sentiment perspective on Yahoo! ( YHOO ) shows mixed attitudes toward the Internet giant, ahead of tonight's new logo reveal.
  • Call buyers and sellers pounced on J.C. Penney ( JCP ) today, following news that Glenview Capital Management LLC expanded its stake in the retailer.
plus...
    The NASDAQ OMX Group ( NDAQ ) experienced a trading glitch, the Fed's Beige Book revealed an improvement in economic conditions, and the latest Apple ( AAPL ) buzz resulted in a bullish brokerage initiation for the stock.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 14,930.87) spent the majority of the session in the green, touching an intraday high of 14,956.74 during the early afternoon hours. By the close, the blue-chip bellwether was 96.9 points, or 0.7%, higher. Intel (INTC) led the Dow's 26 advancers with a gain of 2.6%, while Microsoft (MSFT) paced the four decliners with a loss of 2.2%.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,653.08) also remained in positive territory throughout most of the day, advancing 13.3 points, or 0.8%, by the closing bell. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 3,649.04) climbed 36.4 points, or 1%.

After a brief blip higher this morning, the CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 15.88) was parked in the red for the rest of the session, losing 0.7 point, or 4.4%, on the day.

CLOSING SUMMARY - INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY - NYSE AND NASDAQ

A Trader's Take :

"Stocks began the session near breakeven, but fought hard throughout the day, and most major sectors finished with pretty nice gains," Bell said. "Nasdaq and tech components led the way, as Apple ( AAPL ) rallied on speculation that the company is set to announce some new products next week."

3 Things to Know About Today's Market :

  • NASDAQ OMX Group ( NDAQ ) suffered a technical "hiccup" today, following the massive outage that took place on Aug. 22. However, the latest glitch resulted in a six-minute outage for just a handful of securities, and exchange officials quickly resolved the issue, assuring investors that trading was not hampered. (Reuters)
  • According to the Federal Reserve's Beige Book , the economy grew at a "modest to moderate pace" throughout most of the U.S. in July and August -- hinting that the central bank's bond-buying program could be scaled back in the near future. The report also stated, "Consumer spending rose in most districts, reflecting, in part, strong demand for automobiles and housing-related goods." (CNBC)
  • The Commerce Department said the U.S. trade gap widened by a larger-than-expected 13.3% in July to a seasonally adjusted $39.1 billion, amid growing demand for oil and imported autos. More specifically, the expanded deficit -- which sank to its lowest point in nearly four years in June -- was attributed to a 1.6% increase in overall imports, while exports dropped 0.6%. (MarketWatch)

5 Stocks We Were Watching Today :

  1. Apple ( AAPL ) received some bullish analyst attention, amid news that the iPhone maker is holding a major media event next week.
  2. Bullish near-term traders swarmed General Electric (GE) , and wagered on the stock to trek higher by week's end.
  3. BMO lowered its price target for Microsoft (MSFT) , following the company's acquisition of Nokia's (NOK) handset business.
  4. A strong August sales report for Ford (F) lured call buyers to the automaker's short-term options pits.
  5. Intel (INTC) saw a surge in October-dated put volume, as option bears bet on a post-earnings decline for the security.

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 :

Crude futures suffered their lowest close in over a week, as Wall Street awaits further news on Syria, as well as the latest update on petroleum supplies. By the time the dust settled, October-dated oil had shed $1.31, or 1.2%, to end at $107.23 per barrel.

Meanwhile, gold futures also declined due to uncertainties regarding Syria, and hit their lowest close in almost two weeks. The precious metal's December contract fell $22, or 1.6%, to finish at $1,390 an ounce.

SCHAEFFER'S MARKET POSTURE



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: AAPL , DD , JCP , NDAQ , YHOO

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