Dow Overcomes Lackluster Jobs Data by the Close

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"Early on, the market was greeted with July's worse-than-expected nonfarm payrolls report, but most of the major sectors rebounded quite well and finished near breakeven," said Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell, CMT. "The employment rate also dropped slightly to 7.4%, but that was mostly due to a decrease in the labor participation rate." Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) pared its steeper intraday losses to finish the session slightly higher.

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

  • Today's edition of Small-Cap Spotlight takes a closer look at three low-priced stocks with bullish potential.
  • The latest installment of Option Idea of the Week explains why longer-term traders may want to consider buying Williams-Sonoma ( WSM ) calls.
  • Bearish speculators are expecting Facebook ( FB ) shares to stumble within the next several weeks.
plus...
    Nonfarm payrolls miss the mark, LinkedIn ( LNKD ) continues to grow, and QUALCOMM ( QCOM ) bulls targeted short-term upside.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 15,658.36) sank to an intraday low of 15,558.68 within the first 30 minutes of the session, but managed to gain enough ground to end 30.3 points, or 0.2%, higher -- tagging a new all-time closing acme, which was just south of its fresh intraday peak of 15,658.43. Hewlett-Packard ( HPQ ) led the 18 advancing blue chips with a gain of 2.9%, while UnitedHealth (UNH) and Chevron (CVX) paced the 12 laggards with losses of 1.2% each. On a weekly basis, the Dow tacked on 0.6%.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,709.67) also spent the morning hours in the red, but ended up notching a record close, as well, climbing 2.8 points, or 0.2%, to close at its intraday high. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 3,689.59) touched another 12-year intraday peak, and ended with an advance of 13.9 points, or 0.4%. For the week, the indexes notched gains of 1.1% and 2.1%, respectively.

The CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 11.98) dropped right out of the gate and kept heading south to finish 1 point, or 7.4%, lower. The "fear barometer" fell 5.8% on the week.

CLOSING SUMMARY - INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY - NYSE AND NASDAQ

A Trader's Take :

"The 'buy-the-dip' mentality continues to remain strong," Bell noted. "Some may argue that it's the market's way of falling back on Federal Reserve support, but the extremely strong uptrend remains intact, regardless."

3 Things to Know About Today's Market :

  • The Labor Department said nonfarm payrolls rose by a lower-than-expected 162,000 in July, while figures for June and May were downwardly revised by a total of 26,000. However, the unemployment rate dropped to 7.4% last month, marking its lowest level since late 2008. (MarketWatch)
  • Personal incomes rose by 0.3% in June, according to the Commerce Department, while consumer spending climbed by 0.5% -- the latter of which matched the consensus view. After adjusting for inflation, spending edged up 0.1%. (Bloomberg)
  • LinkedIn ( LNKD ) reported an adjusted second-quarter profit of 38 cents per share, while revenue surged by 59% to $363.7 million. Analysts were expecting earnings of 31 cents per share on sales of $353.8 million. The first also said membership increased by 37% from the year-ago period -- the quickest pace since late 2011. (Reuters)

5 Stocks We Were Watching Today :

  1. Barrick Gold (ABX) received a round of upbeat brokerage notes following yesterday's turn in the earnings confessional.
  2. Bearish bettors showed a rare interest in Alcatel Lucent (ALU) , just days after the firm's quarterly earnings beat.
  3. Near-term option bulls wagered on extended upside for QUALCOMM ( QCOM ) .
  4. Activision Blizzard (ATVI) chugged lower, despite scoring a pair of guidance-induced price-target hikes.
  5. December put buyers were undaunted by Citigroup's (C) positive price action.

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 oil futures closed lower today, following the Labor Department's lackluster employment report. By the time the dust settled, September-dated crude declined 95 cents, or 0.9%, to finish at $106.94 per barrel. On a weekly basis, however, crude gained 2.1%.

Meanwhile, although gold futures only suffered a modest daily pullback, it still marked a fourth straight close in the red. The December-dated contract shed 70 cents, or 0.05%, to end at $1,310.50 an ounce. For the week, the precious metal fell 0.8% -- its first weekly drop since the week ended July 5.

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.

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This article appears in: Investing , Options

Referenced Stocks: FB , HPQ , LNKD , QCOM , WSM

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