Large-Caps Lag as Stocks Close Out Volatile Week

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"After this week's sharp sell-off, most sectors were able to shrug off the downward momentum and rebound slightly today," noted Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell. "The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) was a notable laggard for the day, however, as International Business Machines ( IBM ) and General Electric ( GE ) dragged it lower after worse-than-expected earnings." The blue-chip index still managed a small gain of less than 0.1%, however, thanks to a late-session press higher. Overall, stocks posted their sharpest weekly loss of 2013.

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

plus...
  • Market indexes suffer big weekly losses, Dell Inc. ( DELL ) has one fewer option, and Caterpillar (CAT) traders are bullish ahead of earnings.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) trailed its peers, gaining just 10.4 points, or less than 0.1%, to settle at 14,547.51, which was near its high point of the day. Two dozen of the Dow's 30 members ended higher, with Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) and American Express (AXP) -- the former of which reported earnings Thursday evening -- each enjoying a 3.4% gain. On the down side was another earnings name, IBM, which plunged 8.3% on the day. On a weekly basis, the Dow dropped 2.1%.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX) bounced up 13.6 points, or 0.9%, retaking control of the 1,550 level and its 50-day moving average to close at 1,555.25. Elsewhere, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) rallied 1.3%, tacking on 39.7 points, to end at 3,206.06. This week, however, the SPX surrendered 2.1%, while the COMP dropped 2.7%.

The CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX) gave back some of its recent gains, losing 2.6 points, or 15%, to land at 14.97. Still, the fear barometer expanded by 24.1% this week.

CLOSING SUMMARY - INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY - NYSE AND NASDAQ

A Trader's Take :

"After struggling the past several days, homebuilding stocks finally showed a little strength," Bell observed. "This was a nice sign for a group that had been performing well the past several months."

3 Things to Know About Today's Market :

  • Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) was one of many high-profile names reporting earnings in the last 24 hours. Its mixed report was quickly followed by news that company Chief Financial Officer Peter Klein is leaving after 11 years with the software giant. (CNBC)
  • Dell Inc. ( DELL ) is no longer being pursued by The Blackstone Group (BX), which has abandoned its bid for the company amid concerns over dropping PC sales. This move ups the likelihood that Michael Dell and his investing partners will take the company private. (USA Today)
  • And while lacking a direct impact on the markets, events in Boston captured everyone's focus today. The metropolitan area was on virtual lockdown as law enforcement officials -- including police and National Guard -- tracked the surviving suspect in Monday's Boston Marathon bombings. (CNN)

5 Stocks We Were Watching Today :

  1. Bearish speculators bet on considerable downside in Research In Motion (BBRY) for the next two months.
  2. Intel Corporation (INTC) optimists foresee short-term gains in the semiconductor name.
  3. Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX) saw a rush of bullish attention on Wall Street, after sprinting up the charts on the heels of strong findings for its cystic fibrosis drug.
  4. Call buyers descended upon DISH Network (DISH) as the shares notched a new five-year high.
  5. Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) speculators scooped up long calls ahead of the company's earnings report.

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 prices were higher today, as investors considered the likelihood of output cuts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, or OPEC. The May contract tacked on 28 cents, or 0.3%, to close at $88.01 per barrel. For the week, however, crude lost 3.6%, its third consecutive weekly pullback.

Speaking of weekly pullbacks, gold futures were down just over 7% from last Friday's close. Today, June-dated gold managed to gain $3.10, or 0.2%, to end the week at $1,395.60 per ounce.

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: DELL , GE , IBM , RHT , TSLA

Schaeffer's Investment Research

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