"After all the concerns Fed Chair Janet Yellen's comments
stirred up late yesterday, the market showed a lot of resolve
today, shrugging off the downward momentum," noted Schaeffer's
Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell, CMT. "The market was also helped
along by a few better-than-expected economic reports, led by the
Philadelphia Fed survey that crushed estimates." The
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
started the session on rocky ground, but quickly surged above the
breakeven point, ultimately closing solidly higher.
Trading Topic of the Week
Continue reading for more on today's market, including
-- How to Get Started with Options:
Check your motives
. Never buy an option just because it's "cheap" -- because the
higher risk of a 100% loss isn't always such a great bargain.
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 16,331.05)
bounced out of the red during the first hour of trading and
continued to shuffle in positive territory through the close,
ending with a gain of 108.9 points, or 0.7%. AT&T Inc. (
) was 3.4% higher today, pacing the Dow's 25 advancers, while Visa
) dropped 0.9% to bring up the rear.
S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,872.01)
swung higher from an early morning pullback, closing with a gain of
11.2 points, or 0.6%. The tech-heavy
Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,319.29)
was in the green as well, adding 11.7 points, or 0.3%.
Month-to-date, the Dow, SPX, and COMP are all in positive
CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 14.52)
moved slightly lower as equity indexes advanced. The "fear
barometer" closed with a loss of 0.6 point, or 4%.
A Trader's Take
"Despite all the worry and uncertainty with regard to Ukraine
and just when exactly the Fed will raise interest rates, most major
indexes are just off their all-time highs," added Bell. "Financials
and technology have been the best-performing sectors over the past
couple of days, and are continuing to show strong leadership."
5 Items on Our Radar Today
- The Conference Board reported that its
index of leading indicators
rose 0.5% last month, following a 0.1% advance in January. The
reading topped expectations and is potentially reflective that
recent weather woes will not have a lasting impact on economic
- The Philadelphia Federal Reserve also issued a
. Its manufacturing index rose to 9.0 in March from negative 6.3
in February, surpassing economists' estimates. Readings north of
the zero mark are indicative of expansion.
McDonald's Corporation (
hovers near its year-over-year breakeven level, options traders
have taken a decidedly bearish stance.
- A relatively rare crop of put buyers bet on near-term
Facebook Inc (
- On the heels of its disappointing quarterly earnings report,
FedEx Corporation (FDX)
suffered a price-target cut at the hands of Credit Suisse.
For a look at today's options movers and commodities
activity, head to page 2.
Oil futures stumbled today, amid lingering concerns of a
sooner-than-expected interest-rate hike from the Fed. On its final
day of trading, the April contract lost 94 cents, or 0.9%, to
settle at $99.43 per barrel. The most-active May contract slipped
27 cents, or 0.3%, to $98.90 per barrel.
Gold also faltered, moving lower for the fourth consecutive
session. By the time the closing bell sounded, the April contract
had given back $10.80, or 0.8%, to $1,330.50 an ounce, registering
a new month-to-date low.
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