Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
inched into the black in early trading Wednesday, but spent the
lion's share of the session wallowing south of breakeven, as
traders digested a number of high-profile earnings reports and
weighed the latest economic data points. "There were a slew of
earnings reports," Schaeffer's Senior Technical Strategist Ryan
Detrick, CMT, noted. "The Boeing Company (
) and The Procter & Gamble Company (
) beat estimates, but Amgen, Inc. (
) delivered a high-profile miss. In the end, it was a slightly red
day, and the S&P 500 Index (SPX) snapped its winning streak.
Still, when you consider the S&P was up six days in a row
coming into today, a slightly lower day isn't anything to get too
Trading Topic of the Week
Continue reading for more on today's market, including
-- 5 Reasons to Dodge Directional Risk:
Take the pressure off your directional forecasting
. If the stock looks poised for a big breakout -- but it's hard to
tell which way the bull/bear scales are going to tip -- a straddle
allows you to hedge your bets.
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 16,501.65)
traded in a relatively narrow 49-point range today before settling
on a loss of 12.7 points, or 0.1%. Fresh from a positive earnings
surprise, Boeing led the 11 Dow advancers with a gain of 2.4%,
while AT&T Inc. (T) brought up the rear, shedding 3.8% after
its own earnings report.
S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,875.39)
brought its winning streak to a close, ending the day with a loss
of 4.2 points, or 0.2%. After outperforming the last two days, the
Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,126.97)
faltered more than its index peers, slipping 34.5 points, or
CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 13.27)
spent the entire day in the green, reaching as high as 13.75 before
settling with a gain of 0.1 point, or 0.6%.
A Trader's Take
"The market shook off a weak report on new home data," noted
Detrick. "The next two days are two of the heaviest days with
companies reporting earnings, so get ready. All in all, earnings
have come in better than the lowered expectations, and that is a
big reason for the market's recent strength. Still, be on your
toes, as a few high-profile misses could bring the bears back in a
5 Items on Our Radar Today
- New home sales
took quite a tumble
in March, dropping 14.5% from February to a seasonally adjusted
annual rate of 385,000. Economists were expecting a slight
increase month-over-month, but the reading was negatively
impacted due to higher mortgage rates and harsh winter weather.
- Markit's preliminary
purchasing managers index (PMI) reading
inched to 55.4 in April from 55.5 at the end of March. (Readings
north of 50 are indicative of expansion.) The new orders and
exports readings showed strength, while employment was moderately
- The Boeing Company (
) said its adjusted first-quarter profits rose 14%,
exceeding analysts' expectations
. The aircraft name also lifted its outlook for the full year to
between $7.15 per share and $7.35 per share.
- Wall Street expressed mixed emotions toward
AT&T Inc. (T)
following Ma Bell's turn in the earnings confessional.
General Electric Company (GE)
call buyers are taking advantage of historically low option
For a look at today's options movers and commodities
activity, head to page 2.
Oil futures continued to falter in Wednesday's trading, after a
report showed weekly crude supplies were the highest since records
began more than 30 years ago. The June contract gave back 31 cents,
or 0.3%, to close at $101.44 per barrel.
On the flip side, gold managed its first advance in four
sessions, fueled by continued tension in Ukraine along with
weakness in U.S. stocks. By the closing bell, gold for June
delivery had edged up $3.50, or 0.3%, to $1,284.60 an ounce.