Housing Data, Fed Minutes Beat Dow Back Below 14,000

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"The market has had a nice run and it needed something to spark the selling ... well, today it was the Fed minutes," said Schaeffer's Senior Technical Strategist Ryan Detrick, CMT, of today's trading. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) fell below 14,000 after hitting a five-year high in early trading, plummeting on the possibility that the Federal Reserve's bond buyback program may be ending. "The consensus was the minutes revealed the Fed might stop the stimulus a little earlier than expected. This led to some heavy selling across the board."

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

  • Schaeffer's Senior Options Strategist Tony Venosa, CMT, gives eight reasons why Green Mountain Coffee Roasters ( GMCR ) is a good candidate for a long trade.
  • Schaeffer's Senior Trading Analyst Bryan Sapp on how "weakness in materials names and homebuilders" weighed on today's indexes.
  • Why online radio provider Pandora ( P ) got a lot of attention from optimistic option traders.
plus...
  • The Fed isn't totally united, the markets react with a bit of a dive, and how good news for The Boeing Company ( BA ) didn't help the airplane maker in the option pits.

The day got off to a slow start for the Dow Jones Industrial Average , with disappointing new housing data setting the stage. Then the latest Federal Reserve minutes -- which showed division over the bank's bond buyback program -- led to a deeper selloff, with the Dow closing at 13,927.54, down 108 points, or 0.8%, after hitting a five-year high of 14,058.27 in mid-morning trading. Only six of the 30 companies on the Dow advanced, led by drug maker Merck & Co. ( MRK ), which climbed 1%. The 24 decliners were led by Alcoa ( AA ), which dropped 3.3%.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX) also fell, dropping nearly 19 points, or 1.2%, to close at 1,511.95. The index did stay above the 1,500 mark for the 11th consecutive session. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP) fell 49 points, or 1.5%, to finish at 3,164.41.


The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) closed at 14.68, jumping 2.4 points, or 19.3%, to close above 14 for the first time since Feb. 4.

CLOSING SUMMARY - INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY - NYSE AND NASDAQ

A Trader's Take :

"We were due for a pullback eventually, since the market can't go up forever," Detrick said. "My big concern is that small-caps and technology were hit very hard. Anytime those two areas lag like today, that is concerning for the overall strength of the market."

3 Things to Know About Today's Market :

  • Minutes from the Jan. 29-30 Federal Open Market Committee meeting revealed mixed opinion regarding the central bank's bond-buying program known as QE (quantitative easing). Some officials expressed concern about ongoing risks associated with the program, including possible inflation. (Bloomberg)
  • New residential home construction fell 8.5% last month as compared with the previous year, according to the U.S. Commerce Department -- and the seasonally adjusted annual rate of 890,000 new home starts was down from December's multi-year high of 973,000. (USA Today)
  • The U.S. Labor Department reported that producer prices rose by 0.2% in January on a seasonally adjusted basis, the reading's first increase since September. (NBC News)

5 Stocks We Were Watching Today :

  1. Airplane maker The Boeing Company ( BA ) got some good news today, but it wasn't enough to deter short-term bears.
  2. Bulls bet on an upturn for MGM Resorts International (MGM) after the company released its quarterly earnings this morning and announced a special dividend.
  3. Chesapeake Energy Corporation (CHK) was the target of pessimistic traders looking for a dip following Thursday's earnings release.
  4. Ford Motor Company (F) option traders discounted the recent stock drop and bet that shares would recover by early 2015.
  5. Akamai Technologies (AKAM) slid on the stock charts and option traders bet that the share price would continue to fall into next month.

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 finished lower on Wednesday -- oil for April delivery, which assumed front-month status after the close, ended on a dip of $1.88, or 1.9%, at $95.22 per barrel.

The rising U.S. dollar continued to put downward pressure on gold, with the April contract dropping $26.20, or 1.6%, to finish the day at $1,578 per ounce -- its lowest close since July 12.

SCHAEFFER'S MARKET POSTURE

At the end of every market day, the staff at Schaeffer's Investment Research reviews the trading day in detail, covering major events and key market developments. Don't miss this critical, timely and insightful report. If you enjoyed today's edition of Market Recap, sign up here for free daily delivery straight to your inbox.



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: AA , BA , GMCR , MRK , P

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