"All in all, it was a light news day. Alcoa (
) kicked off earnings season, but didn't react much, as the stock
closed flat," noted Schaeffer's Senior Technical Strategist Ryan
Detrick, CMT. Still, the
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
notched another new record high in afternoon trading, while the
S&P 500 Index (SPX)
hit its highest point in more than five years. "Late-day buying is
a pattern we've been seeing recently," Detrick said, "and that's a
really good sign."
Continue reading for more on today's market, including
- Another record-setting day for the Dow, a controversial shift
at J.C. Penney (
), and a number of bullish bets on General Motors (GM).
Dow Jones Industrial Average
hasn't had a three-day losing streak yet this year, and it wasn't
going to start today. The blue-chip index muscled 60 points, or
0.4%, higher to close at 14,673.46 and hit a new all-time high of
14,716.46 in mid-afternoon action. Two-thirds of the Dow's 30
components, gained today, with Microsoft (MSFT) leading the pack,
up 3.6%. AA was unchanged on the day, while Procter & Gamble
(PG) paced the nine decliners, shedding 0.7%.
S&P 500 Index (SPX)
came within 3 points of its all-time intraday high of 1,576.09 and
notched a new five-year high of 1,573.89 in the process. At the
close, the SPX was up 5.5 points, or 0.4%, at 1,568.61. The
Nasdaq Composite (COMP)
kept pace with its index peers, adding 16 points, or 0.5%, to
settle at 3,237.86.
CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX)
started off in the black but saw any gains unravel during the
afternoon. By the close, the VIX was off 0.4 point, or 2.7%, at
A Trader's Take
"What can you say," asked Detrick, "the market once again
rallied and is sitting near all-time highs. One continued concern
is that small-caps didn't participate in this move higher. Still,
today marked the 13th-straight positive Tuesday for the Dow -- an
all-time record. Also," he continued, "First Solar (FSLR) issued
some very positive comments regarding earnings, sparking a huge
rally in solar names. Some of this optimism translated to the
overall market, as we again found some solid buying during the
3 Things to Know About Today's Market
- The J.C. Penney Company (
) saga took an interesting turn today, as the retailer's board
ousted Ron Johnson
in the midst of his campaign to re-imagine the venerable brand.
Former CEO Myron Ullman was brought back to lead the company,
prompting some criticism and a more than 12% drop in the shares.
- James Bullard, head of the St. Louis Federal Reserve, said he
still believes the
unemployment rate will drop to 7%
by the end of 2013, despite the weak jobs numbers posted in
March. Bullard, who is more of a hawk than some of his Fed
brethren, reiterated that the central bank will "slowly" reduce
its bond-buying efforts as signs of economic growth emerge.
- Wholesale inventories
in February, the Commerce Department reported, posting their
largest decline in 18 months. Economists were expecting
by 0.5% during the month.
5 Stocks We Were Watching Today
- Call buyers continued to
on General Motors (GM).
- Bullish Molycorp Inc (MCP) traders targeted
with weekly options.
- Call buyers bet on a
new all-time high
for Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) shares.
- As JCP headed "back to the future" by appointing its former
CEO, one large-scale call-spread buyer
ran for the exits
- Biogen Idec (BIIB)
scored a price-target hike
For a look at today's options movers and commodities
activity, head to page 2.
Supply concerns and a falling dollar boosted oil today, ahead of
tomorrow's weekly report on inventories. May crude futures closed
at $94.20 per barrel, up 84 cents, or just under 0.9%.
Bargain hunters descended on gold, after the precious metal sank
in four of the past five sessions. The buying demand lifted
June-dated gold by $14.20, or 0.9%, to $1,586.70 per ounce. This
was the highest close for gold since April 1.
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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