"Following in the footsteps of yesterday's very sluggish action,
today was nearly just as slow," observed Schaeffer's Senior
Technical Strategist Ryan Detrick, CMT. "In the end, stocks
finished slightly in the red, but the selling was very muted. It
almost feels more like a buyers' strike than anything. Remember the
old saying, 'don't short a dull market'? Well, the past two days
have been about as dull as it gets." Meanwhile, lingering tapering
fears weighed on the
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
, which finished south of breakeven.
Continue reading for more on today's market, including
- These three stocks could experience some
dramatic price action
following tomorrow's earnings reports.
- Tesla Motors Inc (
) received a
from a well-known Hollywood heavyweight.
- Weekly put volume surged on Facebook Inc (
), as speculators
bet on a decline
for the Internet stock by month's end.
Small-business optimism waned in October, the Justice
Department approved a merger between AMR Corp. and US Airways Group
(NYSE:LCC), and Twitter Inc (NYSE:
) received some lukewarm analyst attention.
Aside from a few blips higher this morning, the
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 15,750.67)
was parked south of breakeven for most of the day, and closed with
a loss of 32.4 points, or 0.2%. Merck & Co., Inc. (
) led the Dow's 13 advancers with a gain of 1.3%, while Travelers
Companies Inc's (
) loss of 1.7% paced the 17 laggards.
S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,767.69)
spent nearly all of the session in negative territory, and finished
4.2 points, or 0.2%, lower. Meanwhile, the
Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 3,919.92)
"outperformed" its peers by tacking on 0.1 point.
CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 12.82)
jumped higher right out of the gate, and added 0.3 point, or 2.3%,
by day's end.
A Trader's Take
"What can you say, nothing really happened for the second day in
a row," mused Detrick. "Bigger picture, we continue to take a
breather after the volatility we saw last week. In a way, a little
break to catch your breath is nice. Still, remember this is
expiration week, and these have a tendency to be a little more
volatile than your average week. However, I'm not sure what will
move the market a lot, as earnings and the economic calendar are
very light over the next three days."
3 Things to Know About Today's Market
- During a speech in St. Paul, Minn. today, Minneapolis Fed
President Narayana Kocherlakota said financial markets remain
bewildered by the
latest tapering concerns
. The central bank figure noted that a scaling back of the Fed's
bond-buying program could hamper the sluggish economic recovery
rate, and that such a decision would be influenced by more than
just the latest stats.
- The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) said
small-business optimism index
arrived at 91.6 in October -- a drop of 2.3 points from
September's reading of 93.9. This latest figure is one of the
first among various economic reports to reflect the impact of the
government shutdown last month.
- AMR Corp. finally received approval from the Justice
merge with US Airways Group (NYSE:LCC)
-- a deal that will create the largest airline globally. Under
the settlement terms, both firms will be required to give up
slots, gates, and ground facilities in major airports across the
5 Stocks We Were Watching Today
- Wall Street newcomer
Twitter Inc (
received a pair of tepid brokerage initiations ahead of the
Google Inc (GOOG)
will unveil its low-cost smartphone in Brazil tomorrow, following
lackluster sales of its higher-end model.
- Near-term option bears converged on
DISH Network Corp (DISH)
, despite the company's upbeat earnings report.
Southwest Airlines Co. (LUV)
touched a multi-year high, prompting a flurry of bullish trading
activity in the equity's short-term options pits.
- With the holiday season quickly approaching,
Apple Inc. (AAPL)
debuted its latest -- and pricier -- iPad Mini online today.
For a look at today's options movers and commodities
activity, head to page 2.
Crude futures declined today, amid predictions of larger oil
supplies and tapering concerns. By the close, the December contract
fell $2.10, or 2.2%, to settle at $93.04 per barrel -- the lowest
close for a most active contract since late May.
Meanwhile, gold futures also dropped on Fed anxieties, with
December-dated gold lopping off $9.90, or 0.8%, to end at $1,271.20
per ounce. This marked the lowest closing price in more than a
month, when comparing most-active contracts.
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