Markets End Mixed in Choppy Session

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"The market did next to nothing today, as most major sectors finished flat for the day," noted Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell, CMT. "As we near the end of one of the strongest years in history, it seems like many participants are satisfied to sit this one out and wait for the new year." The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) settled at an all-time closing peak, but snapped its streak of record intraday highs.

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

plus...
    Pending home sales edged higher in November, Crocs, Inc. ( CROX ) rallied on investor-related news, and weekly call volume ramped up on Apple Inc. ( AAPL ) .

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 16,504.29) spent time on both sides of breakeven today, before finishing 25.9 points, or 0.2%, higher -- marking a record closing peak. The blue-chip index's 19 advancers were led by The Walt Disney Company's ( DIS ) analyst-induced gain of 2.5%, while Exxon Mobil Corporation ( XOM ) paced the nine decliners with a loss of 1.2%. Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) and Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) remained unchanged.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,841.07) was parked in the red for much of the session, and closed with a decline of 0.3 point, or 0.02%. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,154.20) fell 2.4 points, or 0.1%, on the day.


Elsewhere, the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 13.56) climbed higher out of the gate, and was up 1.1 points, or 8.8%, by the session's close.

CLOSING SUMMARY - INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY - NYSE AND NASDAQ

A Trader's Take :

"The Dow still managed to finish in positive territory, even if it was just by a few points," Bell continued. "In what would seem like a natural time for profit taking, it was nice to see the major indexes hold up pretty well today."

5 Items on Our Radar Today :

  1. The National Association of Realtors said pending home sales edged up 0.2% in November -- the first increase in six months. However, the latest figure was still off 1.6% on a year-over-year basis, and fell short of consensus estimates. (CNBC)
  2. Shares of Crocs, Inc. ( CROX ) soared today, amid news that The Blackstone Group L.P. (BX) is investing $200 million in the shoemaker . In return, BX will receive preferred stock and two seats on CROX's board. (Reuters)
  3. Apple Inc. ( AAPL ) calls outpaced their bearish counterparts, with weekly contracts seeing a large portion of the action.
  4. Option bears predicted a decline for J.C. Penney, Inc. (JCP) , which has been struggling to recover since late October.
  5. Rebounding Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD) attracted a crop of bullish traders, who snapped up near-term call options.

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

STOCKS - NOTABLE CALL ACTIVITY

STOCKS - NOTABLE PUT ACTIVITY

Commodities :

Crude futures slipped below the century mark today, as the February contract shaved off $1.03, or 1%, to close at $99.29 per barrel.

Meanwhile, gold futures also declined, with February-dated gold falling $10.20, or 0.8%, to finish at $1,203.80 an ounce. The precious metal is poised to suffer its largest annual loss since 1984.

SCHAEFFER'S MARKET POSTURE



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.

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



This article appears in: Investing , Options

Referenced Stocks: AAPL , CROX , DIS , TSLA , XOM

Schaeffer's Investment Research

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