"Another day, and more drama from Washington," quipped
Schaeffer's Senior Technical Strategist Ryan Detrick, CMT. "Janet
Yellen taking over as head of the Fed was the headline news, but in
the end, today's bounce was pretty weak. Small-caps and the Nasdaq
Composite (COMP) were both in the red, adding to yesterday's big
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
, on the other hand, closed slightly higher on the day, but well
off its intraday peak.
Continue reading for more on today's market, including
The central bank gets its first female leader, the Fed sheds
some light on September's no-taper decision, and Sirius XM Radio
(SIRI) sees bullish activity ahead of its earnings report.
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 14,802.98)
traded in positive territory for most of the afternoon, but pared
some of its gains by the closing bell. By the time the dust
settled, the blue-chip index had added 26.5 points, or 0.2%. Half
of the Dow's 30 components closed higher, led by AT&T (
), which gained 1.9%. Bringing up the rear was Merck (
), pacing the declining 14 issues with a 1% drop. American Express
) was unchanged.
S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,656.40)
bounced near the 1,650 mark in late-morning trading to end up 1
point, or 0.1%. The
Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 3,677.78)
, however, tumbled for a third straight day, closing down 17.1
points, or 0.5%, to finish a hair below its 60-day moving
CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 19.60)
hit an intraday peak of 21.34, but ultimately couldn't manage a
second consecutive daily close above 20 -- a feat that hasn't been
accomplished this year. The fear barometer ended 0.7 point lower,
A Trader's Take
"The Dow did find support down near its 200-day moving average
today," noted Detrick. "This trendline is heavily watched and it is
nice it stopped the bleeding. The Dow has been the weakest index
the past few months, and it is the first one to this trendline.
Nonetheless, as the saying goes, 'news trumps charts,' so while
this bounce is a bit of a relief, in the end the market will remain
handicapped until Washington gets its act together."
3 Things to Know About Today's Market
- Federal Reserve Vice Chair Janet Yellen was
tapped to be the new central bank leader
, with President Barack Obama making the official announcement at
3:00 p.m. Some consider Yellen to be relatively
dovish on monetary policy
, which could mean a slower-than-expected pullback in the Fed's
asset-buying program. Assuming Congressional approval, Yellen
will become the first woman to lead the Federal Reserve,
following the completion of Ben Bernanke's second term.
(CNBC, The New York Times)
- Speaking of the Fed's bond-buying efforts,
minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee's (FOMC)
revealed that most Fed leaders still expect to start scaling back
the monthly asset purchases by the end of 2013. All but one
voting member, however, thought it prudent at the last meeting to
wait for "more evidence" of economic health before flipping the
- In government-shutdown developments, President Obama has
invited GOP leaders to the White House in hopes of
furthering a solution
to the looming debt ceiling crisis. The president committed to
negotiations on all terms of the budget, provided that Congress
first ends the political gridlock and lifts the debt limit.
(The Associated Press, via The Washington Post)
5 Stocks We Were Watching Today
- Options traders have been increasingly bullish leading up to
JPMorgan Chase's (
earnings announcement this Friday.
- Short-term options players picked sides on
Tesla Motors (TSLA)
, betting on how the week will end.
- With its third-quarter earnings report looming at the end of
Sirius XM Radio (SIRI)
was targeted by option bulls scooping up in-the-money calls.
Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO)
earned a price-target hike from B. Riley, but the brokerage bunch
has far from a unanimously upbeat outlook on the search-engine
Dendreon Corporation (DNDN)
tests a new 11-year low, its call traders have been playing both
sides of the fence.
For a look at today's options movers and commodities
activity, head to page 2.
The weekly report on crude inventories revealed a surprising
increase in supplies. As a result, the November crude contract
retreated $1.88, or 1.8%, to close at $101.61 per barrel. This
marked the lowest settlement price for a most-active contract since
Gold futures stumbled as well, even as analysts projected that
the appointment of Janet Yellen as Fed chair should be a positive
development for the yellow metal. By the close, December-dated gold
futures were down $17.40, or 1.3%, at $1,307.20 an ounce (a