Dow Slides Slightly Lower on Slow Trading Day

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"After six straight positive weeks for the S&P 500, this week got off to a little speed bump out of the gate," said Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell of today's trading. The Dow Jones Industrial Average couldn't make it past 14,000 today, instead closing slightly lower on the day. "As the East Coast continues to recover from the rough weather over the weekend," Bell continued, "financial stocks once again took a leadership role."

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

  • The reasons Schaeffer's Senior Technical Strategist Ryan Detrick, CMT, feels the S&P 500 Index's (SPX) recent winning streak is an overall bullish sign for markets.
  • Why Schaeffer's Senior Trading Analyst Bryan Sapp says Walter Energy ( WLT ) is a possible short-term contrarian bullish play .
  • How Google ( GOOG ) was targeted by short-term bears looking to cash in at the end of the week.
plus...
  • Another blah day in the markets, warnings over a possible currency war, and how Tesla Motors' ( TSLA ) weak day on the charts translated in the option pits.

Lower energy stocks as well as the lack of any push or pull from the Asian markets, which were closed, forced the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) slightly down. The Dow closed at 13,971.24, off nearly 22 points, or 0.2%. The 30-member Dow saw 13 companies advance, led by Microsoft ( MSFT ), which jumped 1.1%. Chevron ( CVX ) was unchanged. UnitedHealth Group (UNH) had the biggest fall out of the 16 decliners, dropping nearly 1.1%.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX) dropped as well, despite hitting another new five-year high shortly ahead of the closing bell. The index finished at 1,517.01, off nearly 1 point, or nearly 0.1%. The index stayed above 1,500 for the fifth straight session and has closed above that mark for 10 out of the last 12 sessions. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP) lost nearly 2 points, or 0.1%, to finish at 3,192.00.


The CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX) finished at 12.94, down 0.1 points, or 0.6%.

CLOSING SUMMARY - INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY - NYSE AND NASDAQ

A Trader's Take :

"Energy, one of the strongest sectors so far this year, actually finished the day as the biggest laggard," Bell said. "There wasn't too much market-moving news, but Janet Yellen (Vice Chair of the Federal Reserve's Board of Governors) did note that she is encouraged by the recent improvement in housing, and higher rates are not assured after economic targets are hit."

3 Things to Know About Today's Market :

  • The world's largest banks warned the G20 that they should take action to prevent a currency war and to avoid manipulating currency to improve their economies. (CNNMoney)
  • The co-founder for the well-known Case-Shiller Home Price Index said that stocks are currently a better investment than housing, and will be for the next five years. (CNBC)
  • Apple (AAPL) may be readying its next cool device , with several reports claiming the company is preparing a "smartwatch." (The Chicago Tribune)

5 Stocks We Were Watching Today :

  1. An impending earnings release from Rackspace Hosting (RAX) drew in option bulls.
  2. First Solar (FSLR) pushed up past $32 and optimistic traders took notice with a flood of new short-term calls.
  3. Electric car maker Tesla Motors ( TSLA ) saw call traders ramping up their bets despite an overall drop for the stock.
  4. A new annual high for Southwest Airlines (LUV) meant added attention from optimistic call traders.
  5. Danish drug-maker Novo Nordisk (NVO) got hammered on the stock market, and option bears swooped in as well after an announced delay for the company's new diabetes drug.

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 futures muscled higher in Monday's trading, as the dollar lost strength against the euro. The March-dated contract advanced $1.31, or 1.4%, to settle at $97.03 per barrel.

Gold, on the other hand, lost its footing amid chatter that world leaders may work to stave off a "currency war." The lack of trading in Asian markets, which are on holiday, also may have negatively impacted the precious metal. By the close, April-dated gold futures were down $17.80, or 1.1%, at $1,649.10 an ounce, the lowest close in a month.

SCHAEFFER'S MARKET POSTURE

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 critical, timely and insightful report. If you enjoyed today's edition of Market Recap, sign up here for free daily delivery straight to your inbox.



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.

All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized reproduction of any SIR publication is strictly prohibited.


This article appears in: Investing , Options

Referenced Stocks: CVX , GOOG , MSFT , TSLA , WLT

Schaeffer's Investment Research

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