Economic News, ECB Spark Another Record-Setting Day

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"We're in a bull market -- it's just that simple," quipped Schaeffer's Senior Technical Strategist Ryan Detrick, CMT, of a day that saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) rebound from Wednesday's sell-off to post a triple-digit gain. "Just as quickly as the market fell off a cliff yesterday, prompting the world to worry about the 'Sell in May and go away' mantra, the bulls swooped in to defend their turf."

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

plus...
  • The S&P 500 tags a new high, the jobless-claims number sets a multi-year low, and Citigroup ( C ) options players take a long-term approach.

Yesterday's losses were nearly forgotten today, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) gained 131 points, or 0.9%, to close at 14,831.58, just shy of its intraday peak. Gains were across the board, as 27 of the Dow's 30 members moved higher. Cisco Systems ( CSCO ) took top honors, gaining 1.7%, while Coca-Cola ( KO ) and UnitedHealth Group (UNH) dropped 0.6% and 0.4%, respectively, as the Dow's only two decliners. AT&T (T) was unchanged on the day.

Though eluded by the 1,600 level, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) did manage to hit another new all-time high of 1,598.60. At the close, the SPX was at 1,597.59, up 14.9 points, or 0.9%. Tech stocks resumed their leadership role, with the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) adding 41.5 points, or 1.3%, to 3,340.62. Once again, the index tagged a fresh 12-year high on an intraday basis, rising to 3,344.90.

The CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX) gave back much of Wednesday's gains, falling 6.2%, or 0.9 point, to settle at 13.59. The move brought the index back south of its 10-day moving average.

CLOSING SUMMARY - INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY - NYSE AND NASDAQ

A Trader's Take :

""General Motors (GM) and Facebook (FB) both had solid earnings," Detrick said, "and the European Central Bank (ECB) didn't rock the boat too much with its interest-rate decision. All in all, though, it was just another new record-setting day for the SPX. Elsewhere," he continued, "housing continues to impress. Overall, earnings season has been disappointing on the revenue and guidance front, but housing is one area that has bucked that trend."

3 Things to Know About Today's Market :

  • The number of Americans seeking first-time unemployment benefits dropped 18,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 324,000, the lowest reading since January 2008. The news was a nice surprise for economists, who had expected the figure to edge higher to 345,000. (Los Angeles Times)
  • The European Central Bank (ECB) lowered its benchmark interest rate by a quarter-point to a record low of 0.5%. This was the first interest-rate cut since July 2013, and the fourth on the books since Mario Draghi became the bank's president in November 2011. (The New York Times)
  • Intel Corporation (INTC) selected its new CEO from within, tapping current chief operating officer Brian Krzanich to fill the role. Krazanich -- a 31-year veteran of Intel -- will officially assume the reins from Paul Otellini on May 16. (TIME)

5 Stocks We Were Watching Today :

  1. A patient Citigroup ( C ) bull executed an out-of-the-money long call spread in the January 2015 series.
  2. Tesla Motors (TSLA) put sellers wagered on short-term support at the $45 level.
  3. A bullish General Electric (GE) options speculator utilized back-month options to simulate a stock position.
  4. Optimism -- highlighted by escalating call demand -- has been building on OpenTable (OPEN) ahead of earnings.
  5. Yelp Inc (YELP) enjoyed a slew of bullish brokerage notes following its earnings report yesterday.

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 :

Oil futures bounced back today, as the ECB rate cut and the better-than-expected jobless claims report helped raise the prospect of energy demand. June-dated crude gained $2.96 on the day, or 3.3%, to settle at $93.99 per barrel.

The ECB decision was a boon for gold futures as well. June-dated gold surged $21.40, or 1.5%, to close at $1,467.60 an ounce and recoup the lion's share of Wednesday's losses.

SCHAEFFER'S MARKET POSTURE



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This article appears in: Investing , Options

Referenced Stocks: C , CAT , CSCO , KO , LOW

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