"Today was all about the Fed, but after the announcement and a
lot of intraday volatility, we really didn't experience much net
movement," said Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell, CMT.
"The statement didn't really give us any surprises, and there
wasn't a strong hawkish tone, so many people viewed that as
positive." Meanwhile, the
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
claimed yet another new technical milestone, but ended up finishing
the session slightly in the red.
Continue reading for more on today's market, including
The private sector added new jobs in July, MasterCard (
) reported stronger-than-expected quarterly earnings, and Alcatel
) basked in the bullish analyst limelight.
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 15,499.54)
rallied to a new record intraday peak of 15,634.32 during the
morning hours of trading, but ended the day with a loss of 21.1
points, or 0.1%. UnitedHealth (
) led the 12 advancing blue-chip components with a gain of 0.8%,
while the 17 laggards were paced by American Express (AXP) and
Verizon Communications (VZ), both of which posted a decline of
1.9%. United Technologies (UTX) remained unchanged. For the month,
the Dow logged an advance of 4%.
S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,685.73)
came within a hair's breadth of its all-time intraday high this
afternoon, but shed 0.2 point, or 0.01%, by the closing bell. On a
more upbeat note, the
Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 3,626.37)
hit a 12-year high of 3,649.35 before finishing the session with a
rise of 9.9 points, or 0.3%. The indexes closed the month of June
with gains of 4.9% and 6.6%, respectively.
CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 13.45)
also ended higher, despite sinking to an intraday low of 12.94. The
"fear gauge" edged up 0.1 point, or 0.5%, for the day, but was down
20.2% for the month.
A Trader's Take
"Disregarding the Fed announcement, we actually saw some pretty
big economic reports this morning," commented Bell. "Gross domestic
product (GDP) growth and the ADP jobs report were both stronger
than expected, showing signs that perhaps the economy is on
slightly better footing than most have given it credit for."
3 Things to Know About Today's Market
- Automatic Data Processing (ADP) said the private sector
added 200,000 jobs in July
, exceeding the consensus view. Meanwhile, June's figure was
upwardly revised to 198,000.
- The Commerce Department reported that second-quarter
gross domestic product (GDP)
increased at an annual rate of 1.7%. This figure surpassed the
first-quarter's downwardly revised growth rate of 1.1%.
- MasterCard (
) revealed a
of $848 million, or $6.96 per share, up from $700 million, or
$5.55 per share, in the year-ago period. Meanwhile, revenue
climbed 15% to $2.1 billion. Analysts were expecting earnings of
just $6.30 per share on sales of $2.0 billion.
5 Stocks We Were Watching Today
Alcatel Lucent (
scored a round of upbeat brokerage notes on the heels of
yesterday's well-received quarterly earnings report.
- Skepticism has been growing toward
lately, despite the stock's positive price action.
- A new technical milestone attracted bullish speculators to
October series of calls.
- Traders from both sides of the options fence targeted
after the stock touched a fresh 12-month high.
- Analysts at Barclays initiated some optimistic post-earnings
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For a look at today's options movers and commodities
activity, head to page 2.
Crude oil futures closed higher today, boosted by a pair of
upbeat economic reports, as well as the Fed's vagueness regarding
the future of its current stimulus program. By the time the dust
settled, September-dated crude added $1.95, or 1.9%, to end at
$105.03 per barrel. Comparing the most active contracts on a
month-over-month basis, oil notched a gain of 8.8%.
Conversely, gold finished lower for the fifth time in seven
days, as the malleable metal was dragged south by the
aforementioned economic data. The December contract lopped off
$11.80, or 0.9%, to close at $1,313 an ounce. For the month,
however, gold futures surged 7.3%, when comparing the most active
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