"It was a relatively quiet end to the week, with the
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
leading the way," Schaeffer's Senior Technical Strategist Ryan
Detrick, CMT, summed up. "There wasn't much news out there, as much
of the East Coast is still stuck in the snow, and the upcoming
three-day weekend didn't help volume. The bottom line is the bulls
really took charge this week and the S&P 500 Index (SPX) found
support right at its 50-day moving average."
Trading Topic of the Week
Continue reading for more on today's market, including
-- Learning to Trade Like the Pros:
Manage your money carefully
. Don't be careless with your cash -- keep an eye on those
allocations, and know your exit plan before you enter.
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 16,154.39)
continued its upward march, closing with a gain of 126.8 points, or
0.8%, after starting the day below breakeven. The Dow added 2.3%
during the week but remains down 2.5% year-to-date. All but three
of the Dow's 30 components finished higher today, paced by
UnitedHealth Group Inc (UNH), which gained 3.2%. Verizon
Communications Inc. (VZ) brought up the rear with a 1.7% drop.
S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,838.63)
also ended solidly higher, adding 8.8 points, or 0.5%, to bring its
weekly gain to 2.3% as well. The
Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,244.03)
was the day's underperformer, rising 3.4 points, or 0.1%. For the
week, however, the COMP surged 2.9%, and is in positive territory
CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 13.57)
lost ground for the seventh consecutive session and breached the 14
mark. By the close, the "fear gauge" was off 0.6 point, or 4%. This
week, the VIX gave back 11.2%.
A Trader's Take
"Earnings season is basically over, and in the end, earnings
were once again pretty solid," continued Detrick. "The estimates
are that quarterly earnings grew over 8% from last year, making it
the best performance since late 2011. Is the economy perfect? No.
Still, to see earnings making new records and continuing to expand
higher is always a welcome sign. Don't forget that historically,
the second half of February can be slow, but March and April have
been two of the strongest months over the past 10 years."
5 Items on Our Radar Today
Consumer sentiment was flat
during the first half of February. The reading from Thomson
Reuters/University of Michigan -- matching what was reported in
late January -- was slightly north of economists' estimates.
industrial production declined
by 0.8%, versus expectations for a modest increase.
(Reuters; FOX Business)
- Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc (
)-- which remains the target of a hostile takeover attempt by The
Men's Wearhouse, Inc. (
made a move of its own
today. The men's apparel chain plans to acquire the parent
company of Eddie Bauer for $825 million in cash and debt. JOSB
also announced a stock buyback plan, contingent upon the Bauer
deal coming to fruition.
(The New York Times)
Apple Inc. (AAPL)
scored a price-target hike from BofA-Merrill Lynch this morning.
Through Thursday's close, the stock had tacked on more than 10%
J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (JCP)
traders set their sights on new all-time lows.
Option Idea of the Week
features a potential bullish play on
KB Home (KBH)
For a look at today's options movers and commodities
activity, head to page 2.
Crude futures edged lower on the day, but managed to stay atop
the psychologically significant $100 level and end the week in the
black. Today, March-dated crude fell 5 cents, or 0.1%, to $100.30
per barrel, bringing its week-over-week gain to 0.4%.
Gold futures continued to move higher, bringing their winning
streak to eight sessions. April gold futures gained $18.50, or
1.4%, to settle the session at a new three-month high of $1,318.60
per ounce. On a weekly basis, gold surged 4.4%.