Major Equity Benchmarks See Another Day of New Highs


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"Building permits came in better than expected, while the consumer confidence figure was lower than consensus estimates," observed Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell, CMT. "Overall, neither report greatly affected the market, and the slow, steady uptrend continued during this holiday-shortened week." Against this backdrop, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) , S&P 500 Index (SPX) , and Nasdaq Composite (COMP) all extended their quests for higher highs.

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

    A pair of positive housing reports hit the Street, consumer confidence waned in November, and Google Inc ( GOOG ) reached a new all-time peak.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 16,072.80) spent most of the session in the green, and tagged an all-time intraday peak of 16,120.25 around mid-afternoon. By the end, however, the Dow was just 0.3 point above breakeven -- barely eking out a record closing high. The Walt Disney Company ( DIS ) led the blue-chip index's 12 advancers with a gain of 2.1%, while International Business Machines Corp. ( IBM ), The Procter & Gamble Company ( PG ), Exxon Mobil Corporation (XOM), and Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS) paced the 17 laggards with losses of 0.9% each. Travelers Companies Inc (TRV) remained unchanged.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,802.75) reached a record intraday peak of 1,808.42 during the last hour of trading, but was up just 0.3 point, or 0.01%, by day's end. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,017.75) touched a fresh 13-year high of 4,026.99, and finished 23.2 points, or 0.6%, higher -- marking the first close north of the 4,000 level in nearly 14 years.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 12.81) spent time on both sides of breakeven today before closing with a modest gain of roughly 0.2%.



A Trader's Take :

"It was all about momentum names today," Bell continued. "Many of the technology high flyers that had underperformed during the past couple of weeks received a nice bid, as many investors looked to buy the dip once again."

3 Things to Know About Today's Market :

  • The Commerce Department said home-building permits rose by 6.2% to a yearly rate of 1.03 million last month, marking their highest level in over five years. Meanwhile, the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index increased by 13.3% in September on a year-over-year basis, denoting its quickest annual growth rate since early 2006. (MarketWatch)
  • The Conference Board revealed that its consumer confidence index dropped to 70.4 in November from an upwardly revised reading of 72.4 the month prior. Analysts, on average, were expecting a reading of 72.9. (Reuters via CNBC)
  • The Men's Wearhouse, Inc. (MW) made a bid for Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc (JOSB) that valued the latter at $1.5 billion, or $55 per share. Interestingly, the offer comes on the heels of a buyout bid that JOSB made to MW in early October. (The New York Times)

5 Stocks We Were Watching Today :

  1. Call volume surged on Groupon Inc (GRPN) , with traders forecasting additional gains for the stock by week's end.
  2. J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (JCP) attracted call players, amid news that CEO Myron Ullman purchased a number of the company's shares.
  3. The release of Google Inc's ( GOOG ) low-cost smartphone triggered a new high and a flurry of near-term options activity.
  4. Call options remained active on Facebook Inc (FB) , although today's volume was a mixture of buying and selling activity.
  5. Zynga Inc (ZNGA) saw a spike in call selling, as these traders -- or possibly shareholders -- eyed this round-number level.


For a look at today's options movers and commodities activity, head to page 2.



Commodities :

Oil futures faltered a bit today, as investors await tomorrow's regularly scheduled crude inventories report. By the time the dust settled, the January contract was off 41 cents, or 0.4%, to close at $93.68 per barrel.

Meanwhile, gold futures finished nearly flat amid a lackluster consumer confidence report and a weakening dollar, with December-dated gold tacking on 20 cents to end at $1,241.40 per ounce.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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

This article appears in: Investing Options
Referenced Stocks: DIS , GOOG , IBM , PG , TWTR

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