"It was an incredibly slow news day," noted Schaeffer's Senior
Technical Strategist Ryan Detrick, CMT. "The bulls were in control,
and then late-day worries regarding Syria sparked some selling. The
end of August is usually a light volume, choppy mess. Today was
exactly that, and there's a good chance we'll see more days like
this the rest of the week." Meanwhile, a disappointing durable
goods report rubbed salt in the proverbial wounds, all of which led
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
to finish firmly in the red.
Continue reading for more on today's market, including
- Schaeffer's Senior Trading Analyst Bryan Sapp reminds traders
"never short a dull market,"
and offers up a neutral spread strategy for Caterpillar (
- The latest edition of
The Week Ahead
highlights upcoming events for an Internet company, a global
delivery service, and an alternative energy firm.
- Bearish speculators took advantage of Bank of America's (
) relatively cheap option prices by
scooping up short-term puts
to wager on a downturn.
Durable goods orders declined in July, Amgen (
) bought out one of its sector peers, and LinkedIn (
) touched a new all-time peak.
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 14,946.46)
was able to ward off data-induced losses for a large portion of the
day, but dropped abruptly to an intraday low of 14,945.24 during
the last hour of trading. By the close, the blue-chip barometer was
off 64.1 points, or 0.4%. Home Depot (
) led the four advancers with a 2.1% gain, while Procter &
Gamble (PG) paced the 26 decliners with a loss of 1.8%.
S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,656.78)
also managed to trek higher throughout the first half of the day,
before tumbling to a session low of 1,656.02 just ahead of the
close. In the end, the index lost 6.7 points, or 0.4%. Meanwhile,
Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 3,657.57)
edged 0.2 point, or 0.01%, lower.
CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 14.99)
took the opposite path by trending lower in the morning, and then
spiking to an intraday high of 15.01 later in the session. On the
day, the "fear gauge" gained 1 point, or 7.2%.
A Trader's Take
"Today was more of the same, as blue chips trailed and tech
stocks led," continued Detrick. "The Dow has lagged significantly
recently, but the Nasdaq is close to a new 52-week high. Small-caps
have also held up better on the recent dip. The big question is,
who is right?"
3 Things to Know About Today's Market
- The Commerce Department said
durable goods orders
fell by 7.3% in July, which exceeded consensus estimates for a
drop of just 4%. This latest figure -- which reflects the largest
monthly decline in almost a year -- comes on the heels a 3.9%
increase in June. Excluding transportation, orders slipped by
- The Dallas Fed reported that its
general business activity index
rose to 5.0 this month, up from July's reading of 4.4. Although a
number of subindexes were sluggish last month, the latest figure
was boosted by a surge in the employment index, which arrived at
11.2 -- its highest reading in 52 weeks.
- In M&A news, Amgen (
inked a deal to buy Onyx Pharmaceuticals
for about $10.4 billion over the weekend. The cash buyout values
ONXX -- maker of Kyprolis, a blood cancer drug -- at
approximately $125 per share, and is expected to be finalized in
the beginning of the fourth quarter.
5 Stocks We Were Watching Today
scored a price-target hike following news of CEO Steve Ballmer's
- Near-term traders focused on
October series of puts once again, with hopes for further
- Sentiment surrounding
General Electric (GE)
has been bullishly skewed lately, despite recent technical
-- which tagged a new record high today -- continues to attract
- Pessimistic speculators remained enamored with
Chesapeake Energy (CHK)
, as September put volume soared.
For a look at today's options movers and commodities
activity, head to page 2.
Crude oil futures faltered today, following this morning's
weaker-than-expected durable goods report. By the time the closing
bell rang, October-dated oil shaved off 50 cents, or 0.85%, to
settle at $105.92 per barrel.
Meanwhile, the same data weighed on gold futures, although the
precious metal did manage to briefly ascend past $1,400 an ounce
earlier in the day. Still, December-dated gold shed $2.70, or 0.2%,
to finish at $1,393.10 an ounce.
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