"Action ahead of the open was rather dull and there was a bit of
intraday movement throughout the day, but by the end of the session
most major benchmarks finished near where they started," said
Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell, CMT. "Once again, it
was notable that small-caps and technology stocks underperformed.
This is a scenario that has played out more often than not during
the past few weeks." The
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
popped higher out of the gate, but wrapped up the session with a
Trading Topic of the Week
Continue reading for more on today's market, including
-- Trading Low-Priced Options:
DON'T short-change yourself on time
. Compared to a front-month contract, an option with six months of
shelf life offers more time for the shares to move as you expect.
This extra time provides you a little breathing room to allow the
predicted price move to play out.
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 16,572.55)
hit a new record peak of 16,604.15 in early trading, but finished a
choppy session on a loss of just 0.5 point. Seventeen of the Dow's
30 components closed higher, led by a 2% bounce for Intel
); meanwhile, Microsoft Corporation (
) paced the 13 decliners with a 0.8% drop.
S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,888.77)
turned in a similar performance, tapping an all-time best of
1,893.80 before ending on a loss of 2.1 points, or 0.1%. The
Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,237.74)
fared the worst of the three major benchmarks, giving up 38.7
points, or 0.9%.
CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 13.37)
ticked higher, rising 0.3 point, or 2.1%. However, the "fear index"
notched its third consecutive daily close beneath former support at
A Trader's Take
"After making new all-time highs, the major indexes seem to be
hovering near these levels as some investors take money off the
table and others look to chase the rally," noted Bell. "Many market
participants will also look to the jobs report tomorrow morning, as
they continue to monitor the health of the U.S. economy in the
midst of the Fed's tapering efforts."
5 Items on Our Radar Today
- Weekly jobless claims
rose by 16,000
during the week ended March 29 to hit a seasonally adjusted
326,000, the Labor Department noted. This was a bigger jump than
economists were expecting. The four-week moving average, which
minimizes week-by-week fluctuations, edged higher by just 250 to
- The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) reported that its
increased to 53.1
in March after hitting a four-year low the previous month.
Economists had been expecting a slightly stronger rebound in the
reading. Especially noteworthy was the employment subindex, which
advanced to 53.6 after hitting 47.5 in February.
- Federal Reserve Governor Jeremy Stein announced he will
leave his post
to return to his role as economics professor at Harvard
University. Stein's term was supposed to run through Jan. 31,
2018, but his last day will officially be May 28.
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc (REGN)
is one name to watch as it tests multiple layers of potential
- The 540 strike is in focus as
Apple Inc. (
traders place bets on where the stock will end the week.
For a look at today's options movers and commodities
activity, head to page 2.
Crude oil gained ground today, retaking the $100 threshold amid
well-received data from the services sector. By the close, the May
contract had tacked on 67 cents, or 0.7%, to settle at $100.29 per
Following Wednesday's move into the black, gold futures ran out
of steam as the U.S. dollar advanced. The June contract slipped
$6.20, or 0.5%, to end the session at $1,284.60 an ounce.
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