"Early this morning, all the talk was about the first-quarter
GDP report, which came in a little below expectations," summarized
Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell, CMT. "This failed to
damage the market too much, as it had a pretty mixed day and not a
lot of direction either way." For its part, the
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
managed a modest gain, while its index counterparts stayed close to
the breakeven mark. On a weekly basis, however, gains were solid
across the board.
Continue reading for more on today's market, including
- Stocks end the week solidly in the black , the GDP growth
rate fails to meet expectations, and Zynga (
) attracts short-term optimists.
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
straddled the line between negative and positive territory for the
first half of trading, before ending on a positive, if muted, note.
The blue-chip index settled with a gain of 12 points, or 0.1%, at
14,712.55. Hewlett-Packard (
) led the Dow's 13 advancers, with a gain of 1.9%, while Alcoa (
) brought up the rear, shedding 1.4%. This week, the Dow added
S&P 500 Index (SPX)
, on the other hand, was marginally lower on the day, shedding 2.9
points, or 0.2%, to end the week at 1,582.24. The tech-laden
Nasdaq Composite (COMP)
gave back 10.7 points, or 0.3%, at 3,279.26. Both indexes were
solidly higher on a weekly basis; the SPX added 1.7%, while the
COMP was up 2.3%.
CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX)
inched lower as well, surrendering 0.1%, or less than 0.1 point, to
settle at 13.61. On a weekly basis, the VIX dropped 9.1%.
A Trader's Take
"We finished one of the biggest weeks of the quarter in terms of
earnings releases," noted Bell. "There have been a lot of big moves
in both directions, but the major theme seems to be a lot of
companies beating on earnings but failing to impress on revenue.
Underlying sales growth is definitely something we'd like to see
improve as we make our way through this earnings season."
3 Things to Know About Today's Market
- This morning offered our first peek into how the U.S. economy
fared in the first quarter, and the results were
. While the advance gross domestic product (GDP) number showed a
2.5% expansion, economists had been targeting a 3% growth rate.
- Consumer confidence ticked lower in April, according to the
latest reading of the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan
consumer sentiment index
, which came in at 76.4. While this is below the late-March
reading, it did manage to top expectations.
(Los Angeles Times)
- Beleaguered retailer J.C. Penney (JCP) enjoyed a rare surge
on the day, gaining close to 12% after hedge fund manager George
reported a 7.9% stake
in the company.
(New York Times)
5 Stocks We Were Watching Today
Option Idea of the Week
: take advantage of the continued uptrend in Kimberly-Clark
- Zynga Inc (
) was in rebound mode today, inspiring
short-term call buyers
- Mere days ahead of its earnings report,
Facebook Inc (FB) was upgraded
to a "strong buy" rating at Raymond James.
- Call buyers were notably active on Ford Motor Company (F),
- Some traders hope the
long-term future is bright
for Barrick Gold (ABX).
For a look at today's options movers and commodities
activity, head to page 2.
Crude futures retreated today, as the disappointing GDP news
sparked demand concerns. Oil for June delivery lost 64 cents, or
0.7%, to settle at $93 per barrel. For the week, however, the
front-month contract gained 5.7%.
Gold futures also slumped ahead of the weekend, despite racking
up some safe-haven gains in intraday action. June-dated gold fell
$8.40, or 0.6%, to end the day at $1,453.60 per ounce. On a weekly
basis, gold advanced 4.2%.
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
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