"Once again, we had a 'buy the dip' mentality, as we finished
near the highs of the day," noted Schaeffer's Senior Technical
Strategist Ryan Detrick, CMT. Trading volume was light ahead of the
start of earnings season, but the
Dow Jones Industrial Average
was able to slowly fight its way out of the red and close with a
respectable gain. "There wasn't any major news driver worth talking
about," Detrick added, "but it is worth noting that the S&P 500
Index (SPX) now has been up/down/up/down for 14 straight days! If
that doesn't sum up a frustrating market, I don't know what does."
Continue reading for more on today's market, including
- Markets fight back despite light volume, Great Britain loses
its Iron Lady, and Yahoo! (
) attracts put buyers.
Dow Jones Industrial Average
, started its day in losing territory, but slowly and steadily
fought its way higher despite low volume and a lack of major news
drivers. By the close, the Dow had added 48 points, or 0.3%, to
14,613.48 -- its intraday peak. Of the Dow's 30 components, 21
moved higher today, led by Bank of America (
), which gained 2%. Bringing up the rear was Johnson & Johnson
(JNJ), which paced the nine decliners following a
S&P 500 Index (SPX)
made similar late-session headway, closing up 9.8 points, or 0.6%,
at 1,563.07. The tech-rich
Nasdaq Composite (COMP)
cruised to a positive finish also, adding 18 points, or 0.6%, to
settle at 3,222.25.
CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX)
endured a contrasting trajectory, starting the day solidly in the
black only to unravel in the final hours of trading. By the closing
bell, the VIX was off 0.7 point, or 5.2%, at 13.19.
A Trader's Take
"Tonight begins earnings season," exclaimed Detrick. "Alcoa (AA)
kicks things off tonight as they are the unofficial 'first company'
to report earnings. What stands out about this earnings season is
that overall, expectations are rather low. This is actually a
repeat of the past two years -- analysts lower their expectations
drastically ahead of the results, then earnings come in a little
better than expected, and we rally."
3 Things to Know About Today's Market
- General Electric (GE) is spending north of $3 billion, or
$88.50 per share,
to acquire Lufkin Industries (LUFK)
, a manufacturer of oilfield equipment. The deal works into GE's
long-term goal of investing in companies that are a good fit with
GE's industrial operations.
- Eyes were on Alcoa (AA) today, as the aluminum name will cut
the ribbon on
first-quarter earnings season
tonight. Analysts are expecting results of 8 cents per share,
according to Thomson Reuters. Overall earnings across S&P 500
companies are expected to expand 1.6%, down from 6.2% in the
fourth quarter of 2012.
- Margaret Thatcher, the first (and so far, the only) female
British Prime Minister,
died at the age of 87
. More than 20 years ago, she scoffed at the idea of a single
currency across Europe, telling
, "Every single fixed exchange rate has cracked in the end."
5 Stocks We Were Watching Today
- As Cisco Systems (CSCO) edged lower,
short-term call sellers
- Apple Inc. (AAPL) bulls
emerged once again
, buying out-of-the-money calls that expire this Friday.
- Short-term bears
targeted Netflix, Inc. (NFLX)
today, despite the stock's impressive year-to-date gain.
- Yahoo! Inc. (
) saw activity at its
out-of-the-money put strikes
, as some speculators may have scooped up portfolio
- Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) earned a
and advanced to a six-month high.
For a look at today's options movers and commodities
activity, head to page 2.
Oil futures bounced higher today, reversing Friday's loss as
geopolitical tensions heated up. At the close, May crude futures
had gained 66 cents, or 0.7%, at $93.36 per barrel.
Hurt by a stronger dollar, meanwhile, gold suffered its fourth
loss in five sessions even as billionaire investor George Soros
opined that central banks will be likely to keep buying the
precious metal. June-dated gold futures closed at $1,572.50 an
ounce, off $3.40, or 0.2%.
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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