Jobs Data Jolts Dow to Another Record High

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"The broad markets experienced a steady climb throughout the day, closing near their intraday highs," noted Schaeffer's Senior Equities Analyst Joe Bell. In fact, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) extended its winning streak to a sixth straight session, touching yet another all-time peak. The catalyst? "It was all about the February nonfarm payrolls report, which came in much better than expected."

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

  • Bernie Schaeffer On Charts: Four reasons this level is "pretty much the definition" of S&P 500 Index (SPX) resistance.
  • Why Schaeffer's Senior Trading Analyst Bryan Sapp thinks more post-payrolls momentum is on the way.
  • Carl Icahn isn't the only one with sights on Herbalife Ltd. ( HLF ) . So, too, is Schaeffer's Senior Options Strategist Tony Venosa, CMT.
plus...
  • The Dow just won't quit, encouraging signs on the employment front, and the driving force behind Pandora Media Inc's ( P ) new high.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) notched its sixth consecutive win, ending at 14,397.07 after touching a record high of 14,413.17 in intraday trading. By the close, the blue-chip barometer tacked on 67.6 points, or 0.5%, as 23 of its 30 components finished on positive ground. The Walt Disney Company ( DIS ) paced the advancing majority, adding 1.9%, while Bank of America Corp ( BAC ) blazed the trail lower with a 1.6% drop. For the week, the Dow added 2.2%.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX) climbed 6.9 points, or 0.5%, to end at 1,551.18, after tagging a fresh five-year peak of 1,552.48. Not to be outdone, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) gained 12.3 points, or 0.4%, to settle at 3,244.37, after touching a 12-month high of 3,248.70. For the week, the SPX and COMP added 2.2% and 2.4%, respectively.


The CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX) fell 0.5 point, or 3.6%, to close at 12.59, marking its lowest daily close since Feb. 19. For the week, the market's "fear barometer" shed 18%.

A Trader's Take :

"In addition to the improving employment situation, it was revealed last night that all but one of the major private banks passed the stress tests," stated Bell. "From a broader sentiment standpoint, the market continues to shrug off seemingly negative news and keep churning higher."

CLOSING SUMMARY - INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY - NYSE AND NASDAQ

3 Things to Know About Today's Market :

  • The U.S. added a bigger-than-expected 236,000 jobs in February, the Labor Department reported, while the unemployment rate dropped to its lowest level of the Obama administration. (MarketWatch)
  • All but one of the 18 largest U.S. banks have the capital to ride out a deep recession , according to the Federal Reserve's latest round of stress tests. (Bloomberg)
  • Despite its first new Happy Meal entrée in 10 years, and thanks to last year's leap year, McDonald's Corporation ( MCD ) reported a drop in U.S. same-store sales in February. Nevertheless, the figures exceeded analysts' expectations. (CNBC)

5 Stocks We Were Watching Today :

  1. Stronger-than-expected earnings lured option bulls to Pandora Media Inc ( P ).
  2. Eleventh-hour traders rolled the dice on Apple Inc. (AAPL).
  3. Intel Corporation (INTC) bucked the broad-market trend , but that didn't deter bullish options bettors.
  4. Speculators scooped up intermediate-term puts on fellow blue chip Exxon Mobil Corporation (XOM).
  5. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (GS) lagged its stress-test peers , attracting a fresh influx of pessimistic positions.

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 :

Oil futures ended higher today, following suit with equity gains after a bullish jobs report. Crude for April delivery added 39 cents, or 0.4%, to finish at $91.95 per barrel. For the week, black gold rose 1.4%.

Gold futures also advanced, as the contract's two-week low in intraday action lured some buyers by the close. April-dated gold wrapped up on a gain of $1.80, or 0.1%, at $1,576.90 per ounce. On a weekly basis, the precious metal rose 0.3%.

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.

All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized reproduction of any SIR publication is strictly prohibited.


This article appears in: Investing , Options

Referenced Stocks: BAC , DIS , HLF , MCD , P

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