Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
S&P 500 Index (SPX)
dropped for the fifth day in a row, tying the longest losing streak
this year, which was set back in September," noted Schaeffer's
Senior Technical Strategist Ryan Detrick, CMT. "With the monthly
payroll data due out tomorrow morning, traders maintained a rather
cautious outlook ahead of the widely anticipated report. The media
will claim the drop was due to better-than-expected gross domestic
product stats and weekly jobless claims. The thinking is that
better economic data is bad, because it means the Fed will taper
sooner. Well, the other side to that argument is that the SPX has
been up eight weeks in a row, and some selling is more than
Continue reading for more on today's market, including
Gross domestic product (GDP) grew faster than expected in the
third quarter, weekly jobless claims dropped to their lowest level
since September, and J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (
) slumped on investor-related news.
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 15,821.51)
stumbled right out of the gate, and ended up shedding 68.3 points,
or 0.4%, by the end of the session. Intel Corporation (
) led the Dow's 10 advancing blue chips with a gain of 2.2%, while
sector peer Microsoft Corporation (
) paced the 20 decliners with a loss of 2.4%. JPMorgan Chase &
) also surrendered 2.4% on the day.
S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,785.03)
also faltered at the opening bell, and lost 7.8 points, or 0.4%, by
the close. Meanwhile, the
Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,033.16)
shed 4.8 points, or 0.1%, on the day.
CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 15.08)
ended the session 0.4 point, or 2.6%, higher, marking its loftiest
close since mid-October.
A Trader's Take
"As I said above, the economic data was pretty good," reiterated
Detrick. "Now the big one, the monthly jobs numbers, comes out
tomorrow. I still say I'd rather see better-than-expected economic
data and get this tapering started. Nevertheless, be ready for a
good deal of volatility in all asset classes tomorrow. Good
3 Things to Know About Today's Market
- Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart noted during a speech
in Fort Lauderdale, Fl. that if the central bank decides to scale
back its asset-buying program,
a size limit and timetable
should be implemented, as well. "If and when the [Federal Open
Market Committee] arrives at a decision to wind down asset
purchases, it's my view that it will be helpful to the transition
process to provide as much certainty as possible about how this
will be done," said Lockhart, a known backer of the Fed's
- The Commerce Department said
gross domestic product (GDP)
grew at an annualized rate of 3.6% for the third quarter -- up
from the 2.8% pace that was previously reported, and ahead of
economists' average forecast.
(Reuters via CNBC)
Initial jobless claims
fell by 23,000 last week to 298,000 -- according to the Labor
Department -- surprising economists who were expecting a rise in
the reading. Meanwhile, the four-week moving average for
first-time filings dropped by 10,750 to 322,250. Both figures
were the lowest since September.
5 Stocks We Were Watching Today
- Trader sentiment remains bearishly biased toward
Netflix, Inc. (NFLX)
, despite its outperformance on the charts.
Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD)
experienced a surge in call activity, but some of these
speculators may have been hedging short sellers.
- Shares of
J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (
tumbled amid some investor news, which may have triggered a jump
in put buying.
- Front-month call players descended upon
AT&T Inc. (T)
in droves, following a pair of headlines this morning.
- Technical heavyweight
Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO)
lured option bears to the trading table, who wagered on near-term
For a look at today's options movers and commodities
activity, head to page 2.
Crude futures eked out another gain today, as a pair of positive
economic reports bolstered energy demand forecasts. By the closing
bell, the January contract edged up 18 cents, or 0.2%, to finish at
$97.38 per barrel -- extending its daily winning streak to
Conversely, the same economic data dragged gold futures lower,
with February-dated gold falling $15.30, or 1.2%, to finish at
$1,231.90 per ounce.
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