"Overall, the market was relatively mixed today, with most
sectors showing very modest gains," observed Schaeffer's Senior
Equity Analyst Joe Bell, CMT. "There was very little economic data
out, but new home sales did disappoint this morning, which
definitely weighed on the homebuilding sector. We also had a few
retailers report earnings, with mixed results." Against this
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
stayed in positive territory, and retook its perch above the 15,000
Continue reading for more on today's market, including
) loses its leader, new home sales take a plunge, and Intel (
) put volume ramps up.
After a brief trek below the breakeven line this morning, the
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 15,010.51)
turned on its heels and marched convincingly higher, closing
slightly below its intraday peak of 15,025.56. By the time the
closing bell sounded, the blue-chip index had gained 46.7 points,
or 0.3%, to retake the 15,000 mark. Microsoft (
) popped 7.3% higher to pace the 18 advancers, while Cisco Systems
) paced the 10 laggards, losing 0.6% on the day. Both Bank of
) and General Electric (GE) were unchanged. This week, the Dow lost
S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,663.50)
also headed higher following an early morning hiccup, driving 6.5
points, or 0.4%, north by the end of the day, finishing just shy of
its 10-day moving average. And on the heels of yesterday
afternoon's trading freeze, the
Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 3,657.79)
continued higher, adding 19.1 points, or 0.5%. On a weekly basis,
the SPX gained 0.5%, while the COMP surged 1.5%.
CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 13.98)
subsequently continued lower, giving back 0.8 point, or 5.3%, to
close beneath its 10-day moving average after seven sessions above
this trendline. The market's fear barometer shed 2.7% on the
A Trader's Take
"Some of the big news on the day was the announcement that
) CEO Steve Ballmer will retire within a year," added Bell. "The
news actually sent shares of the stock significantly higher, and
the tech sector paved the way north for the broad market."
3 Things to Know About Today's Market
Sales of new homes
dropped 13.4% last month from June, hitting 394,000, the Commerce
Department reported today. The number fell well short of
economists' estimates, and marked the lowest reading in nine
- Steve Ballmer, who has served as Microsoft (
) CEO for 13 years,
announced his retirement
today. Some expected the polarizing leader (only the second in
the company's 38-year history) to hold the post until at least
2017, but will step down within the next 12 months.
- Federal Reserve officials -- absent their leader, Ben
Bernanke -- converged on Jackson Hole, Wyo., today for their
annual monetary conference. The central-bank leaders were
treated to research
from two economists, which argued that months' worth of
bond-buying efforts may not have had the intended impact on
5 Stocks We Were Watching Today
has been attracting put traders of all types.
- Call buyers descended on
Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO)
, betting on continued upside over the next few months.
Option Idea of the Week
Chesapeake Energy (CHK)
could be poised to further explore new-annual-high
- Option bears targeted further downside in
Intel Corporation (
with a bear put spread.
- In the wake of its quarterly earnings report,
Marvell Technology (MRVL)
enjoyed several votes of confidence on Wall Street.
For a look at today's options movers and commodities
activity, head to page 2.
Crude oil futures advanced, on chatter that worse-than-expected
home sales data will delay any tapering action by the Federal
Reserve. By the close, October-dated futures were up $1.39, or
1.3%, to settle at $106.42 per barrel. Comparing front-month
contracts on a week-over-week basis, black gold slipped 1% from
last Friday's close.
Elsewhere, gold futures continued to march up the charts,
hitting their highest point since early June. December-dated gold
added $25 on the day, or 1.8%, to settle at $1,395.80 an ounce. For
the week, the precious metal gained 1.8% as well.
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