Dow's Streak Ends at 10 Days As Markets Take a Breather

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"We entered March options expiration day with very strong momentum, but hit a bit of a speed bump," said Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell on a day that saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) end its 10-day win streak after the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for early March came in lower than expected. "Although the losses were mostly minor, today marked the end of the streak of gains."

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

  • Schaeffer's Senior Options Strategist Tony Venosa, CMT, shows where to watch home improvement chain Lowe's ( LOW ) for a potential long trade.
  • Our Senior Trading Analyst Bryan Sapp on today's market drop that came despite a good day for Apple Inc. ( AAPL ); plus, a technical look at Freeport McMoRan ( FCX ).
  • How last-minute option shoppers swarmed Apple in today's trading.
plus...
  • The Dow takes a breather and ends its streak, prices jump -- but not enough to scare the Fed, and how all the uncertainty at Groupon ( GRPN ) drew out bearish option traders.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) ended its winning streak at 10 days, falling roughly 25 points, or 0.2%, to finish at 14,514.11 for its first down day of March. The 30-member Dow saw just 10 of its members advance, led by Bank of America ( BAC ), which climbed 3.8%. The 19 decliners were paced by JPMorgan Chase (JPM), which fell 1.92% after being grilled for the second day by the U.S. Senate. UnitedHealth Group (UNH) was unchanged. For the week, the Dow was up 0.8%.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX) also fell back, dropping 2.5 points, or 0.2%, to close at 1,560.70. The SPX climbed 0.6% over the week. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP) finished at 3,249.07, down nearly 10 points, or 0.3%. For the week, the COMP was up 0.1%.


The CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX) was unchanged on the day at 11.30. The VIX fell 10.2% on the week.

A Trader's Take :

"It was a good day for select banking names, as the Federal Reserve released the second part of its 'stress test' report," Bell noted. "While reactions were mixed, Bank of America ( BAC ) definitely stood out above the rest and led the way."

CLOSING SUMMARY - INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY - NYSE AND NASDAQ

3 Things to Know About Today's Market :

  • February's consumer prices rose at the fastest rate since 2009, with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) jumping 0.7% -- primarily because of higher gas prices. The year-over-year figure was still within the Federal Reserve's comfort zone on its economic stimulus measures, however. (CNNMoney)
  • JPMorgan Chase (JPM) is in hot water with Congress, with a new blistering Senate report saying the nation's biggest bank ignored its own controls and misled investigators looking into huge trading mistakes. (The New York Times)
  • Officials with airplane maker Boeing (BA) said today that its 787 Dreamliner could be in the air within weeks as it implements new batteries and safeguards to keep them from overheating. (Chicago Tribune)

5 Stocks We Were Watching Today :

  1. Groupon ( GRPN ) found itself in the crosshairs of bearish put traders who are looking to cash in on all the uncertainty surrounding the online couponing site.
  2. Bearish investors also targeted Ford Motor Companies (F) with a big short-term play.
  3. An unusual rally in Eagle Bulk Shipping (EGLE) had option bulls piling on, looking for a win next month.
  4. Option traders looked for a short-term drop from computer video chip maker NVIDIA (NVDA).
  5. Volume for MGM Resorts International (MGM) exploded on the option floor following news that a major investor is considering upping his stake in the company.

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 :

A drop in the U.S. dollar helped offset otherwise weak economic data and pushed oil futures higher Friday. Crude for April delivery jumped 42 cents, or 0.5%, to finish at $93.45 per barrel. For the week, oil climbed 1.6%.

Higher-than-anticipated consumer-level inflation led gold futures higher, with April-dated gold adding $1.90, or 0.1%, to close at $1,592.60 per ounce. On a weekly basis, the precious metal was up nearly 1%.

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: AAPL , BAC , FCX , GRPN , LOW

Schaeffer's Investment Research

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