"The market hovered just above the breakeven line for much of
the day, but that all came to an end after the Federal Open Market
Committee (FOMC) minutes were released at 2 p.m. ET," observed
Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell, CMT. "The major
headline from the release was that the Fed is likely to taper in
the coming months, provided there is stronger economic data to
support it. Overall, the market's reaction was quite negative."
Against this backdrop, the
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
closed firmly in the red.
Continue reading for more on today's market, including
The Fed's latest meeting minutes triggered worry on the Street,
retail sales climbed unexpectedly in October, and J.C. Penney
Company, Inc. (
) spiked on upbeat guidance.
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 15,900.82)
was parked in positive territory for much of the day, but tumbled
mid-afternoon to close 66.2 points, or 0.4%, lower. Microsoft
) led the Dow's nine advancers with a gain of 0.9%, while a 3.3%
loss for The Boeing Company (
) paced the 21 laggards.
S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,781.37)
also stumbled later in the session, and finished with a drop of 6.5
points, or 0.4%. Meanwhile, the
Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 3,921.27)
lopped off 10.3 points, or 0.3%.
CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 13.40)
spiked right out of the gate, but lost momentum throughout the day
to close fractionally higher.
A Trader's Take
"We actually saw better-than-expected retail sales numbers this
morning," continued Bell. "With the holidays coming soon,
expectations for the season continue to be quite low, which means
it might not take much to exceed them."
3 Things to Know About Today's Market
- The Fed said it has
no plans to taper right now
, but some investors inferred that a scaling back of the central
bank's bond-buying program could come in the near future.
According to the latest Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC)
minutes, the Fed is looking for economic growth that "would prove
consistent with the Committee's outlook for ongoing improvement
in labor market conditions and would thus warrant trimming the
pace of purchases in coming months."
- The National Association of Realtors reported that
existing home sales
fell by a slightly larger-than-expected 3.2% in October to an
annual rate of 5.12 million, marking their lowest level in fourth
months. However, the group said the government shutdown may have
contributed to the latest reading.
rose by a seasonally adjusted 0.4% last month, according to the
Commerce Department, due largely to an increase in auto
purchases. Economists, on average, had expected overall sales to
5 Stocks We Were Watching Today
- Wall Street rookie
Twitter Inc (
was slapped with a downgrade ahead of the opening bell.
- The latest
takes a closer look at
Tyson Foods, Inc.'s (TSN)
technical and sentiment backdrop.
Cisco Systems, Inc. (CSCO)
attracted near-term call buyers, despite the stock's recent
tumble on the charts.
- An upbeat sales outlook -- and some reassuring words from its
CEO -- pushed
J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (
QUALCOMM, Inc. (QCOM)
saw a rare surge in put volume, despite some positive news for
For a look at today's options movers and commodities
activity, head to page 2.
Crude futures remained nearly flat amid news of a modest
increase in oil supplies. By the close, the December contract --
which expired today -- shaved off one penny to settle at $93.33 per
barrel. Meanwhile, January crude, the new front-month contract,
edged 4 cents lower to finish at $93.85 per barrel.
Gold futures, on the other hand, tumbled amid a mixed bag of
economic data and a strengthening dollar. December-dated gold
declined $15.50, or 1.1%, to end at $1,258 per ounce -- the lowest
price for a most active contract since July 10. What's more, the
precious metal slid further south in electronic trading following
the release of the FOMC minutes.