Three big blue chips led the market higher yesterday, but it
then turned into another lethargic session, dominated by the
anticipation of the government's jobs report due this
) was spurred on by a favorable report from a Bank of America
Merrill Lynch analyst and gained 2.9%. And two other Dow components
benefited from opinion changes: Coca-Cola (
) was upgraded by UBS, gaining 1%, and Boeing (
) was upgraded and rose 1.7%.
Health care stocks had much of Wednesday's gain taken back. They
were holding their own until a meeting at the White House resulted
in a bashing of the industry by the administration. UnitedHealth
) fell 3.4%, and Aetna (
) lost 2%. Cigna (
) fell 1.9%.
Retailers did well yesterday following the release of February
same-store-sales figures. The group gained 1.3%, which was well
Jobless claims came in better than expected, up only 1.7%, and
non-farm business activity was up 6.9% versus an expected 6.3%
At the close ,the Dow Jones Industrial Average (
) gained 47 points to 10,444, the S&P 500 (
) rose 4 points to 1,123, and the Nasdaq (
) was up 12 points to 2,293.
The NYSE traded just 961 million shares with advancers leading
decliners by 3-to-2. The Nasdaq traded 598 million shares with
advancers also ahead by 3-to-2.
April crude oil fell 66 cents to $80.21 a barrel, and the Energy
Select Sector SPDR (
) closed at $57.08, off 30 cents.
Gold for April delivery fell $10.20 an ounce to $1,133.10. The
PHLX Gold/Silver Sector Index (
) ended the day at 168.03, down 2.25 points.
What the Markets Are Saying
The market continued higher yesterday, again rising with very
light volume. This lack of conviction (and the dwelling upon the
jobs numbers today) is not the classic formula for success. The
market should rise with an increase in volume thanks to the upbeat
report, but I'd like to see the market rise on an increase in
volume that is not tied to an economic report.
But, along with everyone else, I'm not willing to be the first
swimmer in the ocean -- even a very slight chance of a shark attack
will keep most swimmers out of the water.
One note: Gold pulled back slightly yesterday, but is still
strong. The best way to own the metal is to buy stocks that
represent ownership in ongoing mining operations. Why? Because
stocks have earnings and pay dividends. Bullion and coins do not.
And while bullion is costly to buy, own and sell, ETFs are less
costly and far more liquid.
Be sure to see the Trade of the Day for my most recent
Today's Trading Landscape
Earnings to be reported before the opening
Aircastle, Assisted Living Concepts, Cache and Solarfun Power.
Economic reports due:
employment situation (the consensus expects -50,000 for non-farm
payrolls and 9.8% unemployment rate), and consumer credit (the
consensus expects -$4 billion).
Trade Options to Get Richer, Quicker!
There has never been a more exciting time to be an options trader.
And now, you can get the option information you need FREE each
Sign up for your free subscription to Chris