"Most stocks started the day well into the red, but slowly
churned higher, leading to a pretty mixed finish," summarized
Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell, CMT. "There was no
major news on tap today, but the markets continue to struggle with
concerns over China's economic growth, and uncertainty surrounding
the Ukraine situation." The
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
made a brief foray into positive territory around midday, but
ultimately settled lower for the third consecutive session.
Trading Topic of the Week
Continue reading for more on today's market, including
-- How to Interpret Short Interest:
Review the recent trend
. Have shorts been covering their bearish bets, or ramping them up?
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 16,340.08)
had a mere blip above the breakeven mark today, but ended the day
with a loss of only 11.2 points, or 0.1%. So far this week, the
index has surrendered 0.7%. Chevron Corporation (
) and Cisco Systems, Inc. (CSCO) each added 1% to pace the 16 Dow
advancers. At the back of the pack was Pfizer Inc. (PFE), which
S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,868.20)
peeked into positive territory just before the closing bell, and
settled with a gain of 0.6 point, or less than 0.1%. The
Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,323.33)
outperformed its index peers, adding 16.1 points, or 0.4%, to snap
its four-day losing streak.
CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 14.47)
drifted lower, giving back 0.3 point, or 2.2%, to finish just above
its 10-day moving average.
A Trader's Take
"Gold mining stocks and basic materials showed some strength
today, and led most of the other sectors," noted Bell. "Meanwhile,
consumer discretionary and financial names lagged. The financial
sector led for most of early March, and it seems like we might be
seeing a little bit of profit taking during the past couple of
5 Items on Our Radar Today
- The European Union (EU) has
outlined proposed sanctions
against Russia, should the nation fail to back away from the
situation in Crimea. Such measures -- the first of their kind
since the end of the Cold War -- could include travel
restrictions and asset freezes. EU's foreign ministers will vote
on the draft proposal on Monday.
news of a Federal Trade Commission probe broke
this afternoon, one
Herbalife Ltd. (
bull purchased a call spread, in hopes that the shares will
continue to gain ground.
Starbucks Corporation (
ran into double-barreled resistance on the charts, even while
news emerged of a retooled iPhone app.
- Breaking recent convention,
Hewlett-Packard Company (HPQ)
options traders scooped up back-month puts to potentially wager
on a pullback in the shares.
- Option bulls continued to bet on a breakout in
Sirius XM Holdings Inc. (SIRI)
For a look at today's options movers and commodities
activity, head to page 2.
Following news that crude inventories rose much more than
expected, oil futures took a tumble, breaching the psychologically
significant century mark. By the close, April-dated futures lost
$2.04, or 2%, to settle at $97.99 per barrel.
Gold futures, on the other hand, continued to gain ground, as
investors looked for safe-haven solutions amid continued tensions
with Russia. Gold for April delivery rose $23.80, or 1.8%, to end
the day at $1,370.50 an ounce, the highest close for a most-active
contract since Sept. 9. After plunging on Tuesday, May copper
futures edged up a penny in today's session, closing at $2.96 per
All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized reproduction of any SIR publication is strictly prohibited.