Jobs Data Sends Skittish Market Into the Red

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"Growth stocks really took a beating today, with consumer discretionary and home building stocks getting hit pretty hard," said Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell as the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) fell significantly on disappointing hiring figures. "Economic data was mixed this morning, as employment in the nonfarm private business sector rose by 158,000 in March. Although this was below estimates, ADP also revised February's number higher."

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

  • Schaeffer's Senior Option Strategist Tony Venosa, CMT, on how Research In Motion ( BBRY ) may be poised for an "upside breakout" and is a good buy "at current levels."
  • Schaeffer's Senior Trading Analyst Bryan Sapp on how Facebook ( FB ) could be nearing its "tradable bottom."
  • Options investors -- both bulls and bears -- sought a move from Apple ( AAPL ) in the coming days.
plus...
  • The markets slump after a record-setting day, hiring slows down, and bearish options traders targeted Google ( GOOG ) for an even bigger pullback.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) fell back on disappointing employment news, erasing all of Tuesday's gains (and more). The Dow dropped nearly 112 points, or 0.8%, to close at 14,550.35, ending just north of its 10-day moving average. The 30-member Dow saw just three companies increase, led by drug maker Merck ( MRK ), which gained 1.0%. Bank of America (BAC) fell 2.8% to lead the 27 decliners.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX) also dropped, closing at 1,553.69, shedding nearly 17 points, or 1.1%. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP) was down as well, finishing at 3,218.60, down 36 points, or 1.1%. Unlike the Dow, both the SPX and the COMP breached their respective 10-day trendlines.

The CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX) gained 1.4 points, or 11.2%, to close at 14.21.

A Trader's Take :

"There wasn't a whole lot to cheer about on the day," Bell said. "Utility stocks took a leadership role, but all sectors were deep in the red by the closing bell. There was also late news in the day regarding North Korean threats to the U.S., which didn't boost the spirits of market participants."

CLOSING SUMMARY - INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY - NYSE AND NASDAQ

3 Things to Know About Today's Market :

  • Payroll processing firm ADP reported that the private sector created 158,000 jobs in March, far south of economists' predictions. (MarketWatch)
  • In another bit of disappointing economic news, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported that applications for new mortgages fell 4% last week, with refinancing requests dropping the most. (Reuters)
  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and European Union set the conditions for its bailout of Cyprus, with the IMF pledging 1 billion euros, or about 10% of the total $13 billion package. (The New York Times)

5 Stocks We Were Watching Today :

  1. Google ( GOOG ) slumped a little on the charts, and short-term bears swooped in, targeting a continued downturn.
  2. Short-term bulls zeroed in on online game publisher Zynga (ZNGA), looking for the news of online gambling approval overseas to provide a bump this week.
  3. Call buyers made a rare appearance in Bank of America (BAC), looking to capitalize on the bank's strong performance on the charts.
  4. Tesla Motors (TSLA) saw an uptick in call volume, but traders were split on where they thought shares in the electric car maker were really headed.
  5. One trader executed a massive covered call on Sony Corporation (SNE), which has been on an upward trend lately amid several news developments.

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 :

The discouraging jobs data and an increase in domestic stockpiles pushed oil futures down Wednesday. May crude futures closed at $94.45 a barrel, falling $2.74, or 2.8%, on the day.

Gold also stumbled, with futures hitting a nine-month low as other commodities and precious metals also dropped. June-dated gold finished at $1,553.50 per ounce, off $22.40, or 1.4%.

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: AAPL , BBRY , FB , GOOG , MRK

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