Markets Close Wild Week On Up Note

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"After a strong rally to start the year and many indexes near round-number levels, this week was a logical time for a breather," said Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell, noting that the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) was down slightly on the week. "As the broad markets attempt to break free of this recent congestion, the volatility in Europe and retail sales could steal the headlines next week."
Continue reading for more on today's market, including :

plus...
  • Markets rebound, some upbeat news from both the U.S. and Chinese economies, and how bears may be looking to cash in on the storm-related woes of Delta Air Lines ( DAL ).

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) had another choppy session to end the week, going up nearly 80 points early in the session and crossing 14,000, only to slump at the end of the day and close at 13,992.97, up 49 points or nearly 0.4%. The Dow finished a week that saw at least two 100-point swings down 0.1%. Hewlett-Packard ( HPQ ) led the 21 advancers, jumping 2.6%. AT&T ( T ) finished unchanged. Of the eight decliners, The Boeing Company (BA) had the biggest drop, at 1.1%, on continued uncertainty around its Dreamliner 787.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX) also gained, closing at 1,517.93, up more than 8 points, or 0.6%. The index stayed above the 1,500 mark for the fourth straight day and the ninth in 11 sessions. The SPX finished up 0.3% on the week. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP) rose nearly 29 points, or 0.9%, to finish at 3,193.87. For the week, the COMP climbed nearly 0.5%.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) finished at 13.02, down less than half a point, or 3.6%. The VIX finished the week with a gain of 0.9%.

CLOSING SUMMARY - INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY - NYSE AND NASDAQ

Editorial note: The NASDAQ up/down volume was inadvertently inverted in a prior version of this table. It has been corrected, and we apologize if this caused any confusion.

A Trader's Take :

"After a lot of whipsaw action throughout the week, technology stocks led the way as the S&P 500 made a new 52-week high today," Bell said. "With the historic snowstorm set to hit several states, we could be in for lighter volume than we normally see on option expiration weeks."

3 Things to Know About Today's Market :

  • The U.S. trade deficit contracted to $38.5 billion in December, roundly beating economists' estimates. (The New York Times)
  • Gas prices have climbed steadily over the last few months, a trend that probably will continue. (MarketWatch)
  • December data suggests that China's economy is in full-blown recovery mode. (Reuters)

5 Stocks We Were Watching Today :

  1. As General Electric (GE) flirts with a new annual high , bulls looked to cash in.
  2. Put buyers circled Delta Air Lines ( DAL ) looking for a potential silver lining from all the flight cancellations in advance of winter storm Nemo.
  3. Longer-term traders targeted Groupon (GRPN) hoping for a big jump by the summer.
  4. Optimists liked software provider VMware (VMW), buying up front- and back-month calls at a much higher rate than normal.
  5. Bears were betting on an earnings miss from Oracle Corporation (ORCL).

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 :

West Texas crude continued to diverge from its European counterpart on Friday. Nymex futures were feeling the weight of a surging U.S. dollar, while Brent crude rallied on the strength of China's sizable trade surplus. Oil for March delivery dropped 11 cents, or 0.1%, to end at $95.72 per barrel. For the week, black gold shed 2.1%.

Dollar-denominated gold futures also swallowed a loss, as the April contract finished Friday on a drop of $4.40, or 0.3%, at $1,666.90 per ounce. On a weekly basis, the precious metal gave up 0.2%.

SCHAEFFER'S MARKET POSTURE

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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: DAL , HPQ , JCP , NFLX , T

Schaeffer's Investment Research

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