"It was a post-Fed hangover, and in the end, not a lot
happened," mused Schaeffer's Senior Technical Strategist Ryan
Detrick, CMT. "Facebook Inc (
) received a lot of hype after its solid earnings, and the shares
had a roller coaster of a day, finishing in the green by the close.
But under the surface, financial stocks were weak, with JP Morgan
Chase & Co. (
) leading the way lower." Against this backdrop, the
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
closed in negative territory on the day, but ended the month
Continue reading for more on today's market, including
Initial jobless claims declined last week, the Chicago
purchasing managers index (PMI) surged in October, and Starbucks
) saw a spike in post-earnings option activity.
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 15,545.75)
spent time on both sides of breakeven today, but ended up finishing
73 points, or 0.5%, lower. For the month, however, the blue-chip
barometer gained 2.8%. Exxon Mobil Corporation (XOM) and 3M Co
(MMM) led the Dow's nine advancers with gains of 0.9% each, while
Visa Inc (V) paced the 21 decliners with a drop of 3.5%, spurred by
a poorly received quarterly earnings report.
S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,756.54)
traveled in both positive and negative territory throughout the
session before closing with a loss of 6.8 points, or 0.4%.
Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 3,919.71)
shed 10.9 points, or 0.3%. The indexes advanced 4.5% and 3.9% for
the month of October, respectively.
CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 13.75)
churned lower for a large portion of the day, but managed to add
0.1 point, or 0.7%, by the close. On a monthly basis, the "fear
gauge" declined 17.2%.
A Trader's Take
"In the end, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) gained nearly 5% for
October, making it a huge month," noted Detrick. "When you consider
its September gain of just about 3%, we've made it past two of the
more bearish months with a big surprise rally that very few were
expecting. Now we enter the historically bullish November and
December months. Can this rally continue? History does suggest that
strength heading into year's end usually spurs more of the
3 Things to Know About Today's Market
- The Labor Department said
first-time jobless claims
fell by 10,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 340,000 --
slightly higher than the consensus view. Meanwhile, the four-week
moving average for new claims climbed by 8,000 to 356,250.
Chicago purchasing managers index (PMI)
rose to a reading of 65.9% in October from the previous month's
reading of 55.7%. Not only did the latest figure surpass
economists' expectations for a reading of 54.5%, it also marked
the index's highest level since March 2011.
- Facebook Inc (
) reported a
of $425 million, or 17 cents per share, versus a loss of $59
million, or 2 cents per share, in the year-ago period. Excluding
items, earnings arrived at 25 cents per share. Meanwhile, revenue
came in at $2.02 billion. Analysts, on average, were expecting a
per-share profit of 19 cents on sales of $1.91 billion.
5 Stocks We Were Watching Today
- A narrower quarterly loss for
Alcatel Lucent SA (ADR) (ALU)
triggered an upgrade for the telecom concern this morning.
Microsoft Corporation (MSFT)
saw a surge in longer-term call volume amid some lawsuit news, as
well as the latest M&A development.
- Two brokerage firms weighed in negatively on
SodaStream International Ltd (SODA)
, following the company's dismal turn at the earnings plate.
- In the wake of its well-received quarterly earnings report,
Starbucks Corporation (
attracted front-month options players.
J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (JCP)
was the focus of a spread strategy, as one trader forecast
minimal movement over the next few months.
For a look at today's options movers and commodities
activity, head to page 2.
Crude futures fell yet again today, pressured lower by lingering
concerns regarding rising oil supplies. By the closing bell, the
December contract lopped off 39 cents, or 0.4%, to finish at $96.38
per barrel. For the month, crude prices shed 5.8%.
Meanwhile, gold futures also declined, as tapering anxieties
dragged prices south. December-dated gold shed $25.60, or 1.9%, to
end at $1,323.70 an ounce. The malleable metal ended up declining
0.2% in October.
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