Dow, SPX Tip-Toe Breakeven During Dramatic Last-Minute Sell-Off


The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) traveled in positive territory for most of the day, but lost its grip during the final half hour of trading, flailing into the red. "The very oversold bounce that started yesterday ran out of steam as the trading day progressed," said Schaeffer's Senior Technical Strategist Ryan Detrick. "With big news from a European Union meeting slated for tomorrow -- remember, Europe seems to be all we can think about anymore -- it looks like we're back to a skittish market bent on holding stocks overnight."

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

  • Just how much did Wall Street's recent weakness weigh on Facebook's ( FB ) IPO ?
  • Plus, Schaeffer's Senior Equities Analyst Joe Bell's confidence is building on the home construction sector.
And now, a look at the numbers...



The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 12,502.81) climbed as high as the 12,575.96 mark today before depleting all its gains in the last 30 minutes of trading. By the time the dust settled, the blue-chip barometer was off by 1.7 points, or 0.01%. Half of the Dow's 30 components closed lower, as Alcoa ( AA ) led the losing issues with a 1.3% deficit. JPMorgan Chase ( JPM ) paced the 14 outperformers with a 4.6% jump. Walt Disney ( DIS ) remained unchanged.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,316.63) ended basically flat, after falling from a session peak of 1,328.49. Ultimately, the SPX closed up by 0.6 point, or 0.05%. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 2,839.08) suffered a similar fate, and finished with the worst performance of its peers, inching to a loss of 8.1 points, or 0.3%.

Bouncing from support off its 20-day moving average, the CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 22.48) increased by 2.1% today, and landed below its session high of 23.19. This marked the VIX's seventh consecutive daily close atop the 20 level.

Today's highlight : "There were two buyouts today and this was a nice sign," claimed Detrick. "Benihana ( BNHN ) and Ariba (ARBA) were both up about 20% on the day. This suggests firms are still finding value in stocks, even if most investors have decided to shun stocks at these levels."

Turning to today's major market stories...

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

Oil futures turned south today, as anxieties remain heightened on what an unresolved euro-zone crisis means for the rest of the global economy. Also, a possible deal to let U.N. inspectors into Iranian nuclear facilities bolstered speculation that sanctions might be averted for the oil-rich nation. As the dollar strengthened, crude for June delivery dropped 91 cents, or 1%, to settle at $91.66 a barrel.

Gold futures closed lower for a second straight session, feeling the pinch of a higher greenback, ongoing euro-zone financial woes, and Fitch Ratings' credit downgrade of Japan. June-dated gold shed $12.10, or 0.8%, to land at $1,576.60 an ounce.

Levels to Watch in Trading :

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 12,502.81) - support at 11,500; resistance at 14,000
  • S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,316.63) - support at 1,100; resistance at 1,500
  • Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 2,839.08) - support at 2,400; resistance at 3,400






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


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: AA , BNHN , DIS , FB , JPM

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