"After a volatile start to February, things are calming down
some today as the market is catching its breath," said Schaeffer's
Senior Technical Strategist Ryan Detrick, CMT, as the
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
was little changed on the day after a strong finish to the month
last week. "With both 1,500 on the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and
14,000 on the Dow out there, some type of consolidating near these
levels makes sense."
Continue reading for more on today's market, including
- Markets muddle through a mixed day, more legal action
involving a market staple, and how option players took to the
recent spike by Internet mainstay Groupon Inc. (
After three straight days with point swings of 90 or more, the
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
was slightly less volatile today, but still rallied toward the
close for the second straight winning day. The Dow finished at
13,986.52, gaining just 7 points, or less than 0.1%. 3M Co (
) led the 19 advancers, jumping 1.2% to hit a new annual high. The
11 decliners were led by semiconductor concern Intel (
), which lost 0.9%.
S&P 500 Index (SPX)
also gained slightly, picking up less than 1 point, or 0.1%, to
close at 1,512.12. Yet it was the seventh time in nine trading days
that the SPX stayed above 1,500. The
Nasdaq Composite (COMP)
fell 3 points, or 0.1%, to finish at 3,168.48.
CBOE Volatility Index (VIX)
dropped 2.3% to finish at 13.41.
A Trader's Take
"The overwhelming consensus is we've gone too far, too fast, and
a pullback is due," Detrick said. "Although February is one of the
weaker months going back 20 years, it is worth noting that a strong
January (like we had) usually leads to a decent February. I'm not
sure I'd say a big pullback is due, but potentially some sideways
consolidation could be in the cards."
3 Things to Know About Today's Market
- The U.S. Postal Service announced that it was planning to end
first-class deliveries on Saturdays
in a move that could save $2 billion annually. Packages will
still be delivered, and offices will still stay open on
(The New York Times)
- Royal Bank of Scotland (ADR) (RBS)
agreed to pay $612 million
in fines to settle interest-rate-rigging charges brought by U.S.
and British regulators.
about the U.S. Department of Justice's suit against ratings
agency Standard & Poor's, including internal company e-mails
that showed at least some inside S&P were concerned about the
mortgage-backed securities at the heart of the crisis.
(Los Angeles Times)
5 Stocks We Were Watching Today
- Electric car manufacturer Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA)
drew bullish traders in droves,
especially those looking long term.
- United Continental Holdings Inc (UAL), parent of United
received unusual attention
from call buyers, perhaps as an offshoot of the ongoing saga
involving the 787 Dreamliner from The Boeing Company (BA).
- Short-term bulls looked to
on the recent price climb in Groupon Inc (
- A new multi-year high by online photo service provider
Shutterfly, Inc. (SFLY)
not only positive analyst attention, but a new slew of bullish
- Bearish investors looked for Citigroup Inc. (C) to
take a step back
For a look at today's options movers and commodities
activity, head to page 2.
On the heels of news that crude supplies rose by a
smaller-than-expected amount last week, March oil futures edged
down just 2 cents to close at $96.62 per barrel. Meanwhile, gold
futures were higher as investors flocked to the "safe haven" of the
yellow metal ahead of this tomorrow's European Central Bank policy
meeting. April futures for gold were up $5.30, or 0.3%, at
$1,678.80 an ounce.
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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