Dow Snaps Seven-Month Winning Streak With Worst Month in Two Years

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) flirted with an early triple-digit deficit today, as disappointing reports on jobless claims, private-sector payrolls, and Chicago-area manufacturing fueled the bears. "It looked like we were going to see a repeat of yesterday's price action," remarked Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell. "The bulls took control in late afternoon, though, with homebuilders and financial companies helping stocks pare their collective losses by the close."

Keep reading to see what else was on our radar today:

  • What can we gauge from the bond rally?
  • Which popular Wall Street freshman launched weekly options?
  • Plus, like equities, black gold ended May on a sour note .
And now, a look at the numbers...

CLOSING SUMMARY - INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY - NYSE AND NASDAQ

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 12,393.45) traded on both sides of the breakeven line today, falling as low as 12,316.48 before bouncing back around midday . However, after touching an intraday acme of 12,489.87, the blue-chip barometer surrendered its footing in the black, ending on a loss of 26.4 points, or 0.2%. Among the Dow's 30 components, 16 finished lower, with Caterpillar ( CAT ) leading the laggards with a 2.8% drop, and Bank of America ( BAC ) pacing the advancing equities with a 2.1% gain. The Dow shed 6.2% in May, snapping its seven-month winning streak, and marking its worst monthly finish in two years.

In similar fashion, the S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,310.33) made a brief foray in positive territory, but eventually settled with a loss of 3 points, or 0.2%. For the month, the SPX backpedaled 6.3%. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 2,827.34) spent most of the session swimming in the red, but trimmed its deficit to 10 points, or 0.4%, by the closing bell. For the month, the tech-rich COMP fared the worst of its peers, surrendering 7.2%.

The CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 24.06) also traded on both sides of breakeven, even flirting with its 200-day moving average for the first time this year. However, the market's "fear gauge" finished relatively flat, shedding 0.3%.

Today's highlight : "We can look forward to the much-anticipated nonfarm payrolls report tomorrow," stated Bell. "Plus, we had a bit of exhausted selling today, as many stocks sold off hard early on, and soared during the last couple of hours."

Turning to today's major market stories...

For today's activity in commodities, options, and more, head to page 2.

Dollar-denominated crude futures extended their losing streak today, despite the greenback's modest pullback. Lackluster reports on unemployment, Chicago-area business conditions, and first-quarter economic growth tamed expectations about demand, which weighed on black gold. By the close, July-dated crude gave up $1.29, or 1.5%, to end at $86.53 per barrel. For the month, the most-active contract surrendered a whopping 17% -- oil's worst monthly finish since December 2008.

Meanwhile, gold futures failed to capitalize on the aforementioned round of unimpressive economic data, with traders instead seeking safety in bonds. By the time the dust settled, gold for August delivery dipped $1.50, or 0.1%, to finish at $1,564.20 an ounce. For the month, the malleable metal shed 6%.

Levels to Watch in Trading :

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 12,393.45) - support at 11,500; resistance at 14,000

  • S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,310.33) - support at 1,100; resistance at 1,500

  • Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 2,827.34) - support at 2,400; resistance at 3,400

OUTPERFORMING AND UNDERPERFORMING SECTORS

STOCKS - MOVERS

STOCKS - EARNINGS

STOCKS - NOTABLE CALL ACTIVITY

STOCKS - NOTABLE PUT ACTIVITY

For today's notable annual highs and lows, click here .

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.

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This article appears in: Investing , Options

Referenced Stocks: BAC , CAT , FB , KR , MON

Schaeffer's Investment Research

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