Fed Remarks Create Unease; Stocks Falter

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"Today was all about the Fed, as we saw the typical Fed-day volatility," observed Schaeffer's Senior Technical Strategist Ryan Detrick, CMT. "After a big initial dip, the market did bounce some into the close. Overall, the Fed didn't do much that wasn't expected, as they left asset purchases at $85 billion a month. The subsequent price action looked like a 'sell the news' type of move. The big question is, will it continue?" As a result, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) and S&P 500 Index (SPX) closed in the red, although both still managed to tag record intraday highs.

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

plus...
    The Fed said it doesn't plan to start tapering yet, the private sector added fewer jobs than expected in October, and Facebook Inc ( FB ) received a vote of confidence from the analyst crowd ahead of this evening's earnings report.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 15,618.76) moved higher out of the gate -- tagging an all-time intraday high of 15,721.00 in the process -- but faltered later in the day, particularly after the latest Fed remarks. The blue-chip bellwether ended up closing 61.6 points, or 0.4%, lower. General Electric Company ( GE ) led the Dow's five advancers with a gain of 0.6%, while The Procter & Gamble Company ( PG ), Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ), and International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) paced the 25 laggards with declines of 1.1% each.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,763.31) followed a similar path, touching a record intraday peak of 1,775.22 within the first few minutes of the session. By the end, however, the index shed 8.6 points, or 0.5%. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 3,930.62) fell 21.7 points, or 0.6%.


Elsewhere, the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 13.65) worked its way higher in early trading, but quickly pared most of its gains, finishing just 0.2 point, or 1.8%, higher for the day.

CLOSING SUMMARY - INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY - NYSE AND NASDAQ

3 Things to Know About Today's Market :

  • The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) announced it will not start scaling back its bond-buying program yet. However, the latest decision dragged markets lower, as some interpreted the language of the statement to mean that tapering may come sooner than many anticipated. (CNBC)
  • Automatic Data Processing Inc. (ADP) said the private sector created 130,000 jobs in October -- down from 145,000 in September, and falling short of the consensus view. Adding insult to injury, the latest figure marks the fewest number of jobs added since April. (MarketWatch)
  • General Motors Company (GM) reported a third-quarter profit of $757 million, or 45 cents per share, down from $1.48 billion, or 89 cents per share, in the year-ago period. Excluding items, earnings came in at 96 cents per share. Analysts, on average, were expecting a per-share profit of 94 cents. (Reuters)

5 Stocks We Were Watching Today :

  1. Facebook Inc ( FB ) received a bullish brokerage note today, as the firm prepares to report third-quarter earnings this evening.
  2. A closer look at Starbucks Corporation's (SBUX) sentiment backdrop shows a bullish bias ahead of tonight's quarterly earnings report.
  3. Pre-earnings traders scooped up Expedia Inc (EXPE) calls, focusing particularly on the front-month series of options.
  4. Longer-term call sellers converged on Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NOK) , despite the stock's earnings-induced, positive price action.
  5. Baidu Inc's (BIDU) well-received quarterly earnings report triggered some upbeat attention from the analyst crowd.

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 :

Crude futures drifted lower again today, after the regularly scheduled inventories report showed a sixth weekly increase in oil supplies. By the time the dust settled, the December contract dropped $1.43, or 1.5%, to end at $96.77 per barrel -- the lowest closing price for a most-active contract since late June.

Meanwhile, gold futures closed higher, thanks to the ADP's lackluster employment report. December-dated gold climbed $3.80, or 0.3%, to end at $1,349.30 an ounce. However, the malleable metal gave up these gains in electronic trading following the FOMC announcement.

SCHAEFFER'S MARKET POSTURE



The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

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This article appears in: Investing , Options

Referenced Stocks: AAPL , FB , GE , PG , ZNGA

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