Markets Finished Mixed on European Concerns

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"I'm just happy that weakness in Europe didn't torpedo our markets," said Schaeffer's Senior Technical Strategist, Ryan Detrick, CMT, after the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) fell on the day but closed only slightly lower after an afternoon rally. "Last year, there's a good chance we have a big down day on news and concerns like we saw out of Italy. We are finally seeing a divergence from those concerns and the realization is the U.S. economy is on much better footing than most of Europe."

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

  • Schaeffer's Senior Options Strategist Tony Venosa, CMT, has 10 reasons why Western Digital Corporation ( WDC ) looks like a buy.
  • Our Senior Trading Analyst Bryan Sapp dissects the "lingering fear" in the market.
  • Our Weekly Contrarian: Are smoother seas ahead for cruise ship operator Carnival Corp ( CCL )?
plus...
  • The markets fall back, more turmoil in Europe, and how bulls looked for Amazon.com's ( AMZN ) win streak to continue.

The day after a 112-point gain, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) got dragged down again by European concerns. The Dow lost 33 points, or 0.2%, to close at 14,526.16, although it recovered nearly 87 points from its intraday nadir. The 30-member Dow saw 10 of its members advance, led by UnitedHealth Group ( UNH ), which climbed 1.7%. JPMorgan Chase ( JPM ) led the 20 decliners, falling 1.8%.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX) also dropped back, but came within a point of another multi-year high in late-session trading. The SPX fell nearly 1 point, or less than 0.1%, to finish at 1,562.85. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP) pulled out a win on the day, ending at 3,256.52, up 4 points, or 0.1%, after threatening to set yet another 12-year high.

The CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX) gained 0.4 point, or 3%, to close at 13.15.

CLOSING SUMMARY - INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY - NYSE AND NASDAQ

A Trader's Take :

"The headlines will say weakness out of Italy pushed us lower, yet I find that more of an excuse," Detrick said. "The reality is that the S&P 500 Index (SPX) once again is flirting with new highs and just can't seem to break out. Just like the Dow when it danced around 14,000 for what seemed like forever, we seem to be seeing similar action with the SPX now."

3 Things to Know About Today's Market :

  • After weeks of worry over Cyprus, another European country was the focus of the fiscal community today, with Italian bond prices dropped ahead of a planned auction, leading the euro to close at a four-month low. (San Francisco Chronicle)
  • Blackstone Group, one of the interested parties bidding for computer maker Dell (DELL), is not opposed to retaining company founder and current CEO Michael Dell as the chief executive, sources said. (The Wall Street Journal)
  • Federal regulators today said they were directing mortgage officers at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to offer a simpler mortgage modification to struggling homeowners than is available now. (Chicago Tribune)

5 Stocks We Were Watching Today :

  1. Option traders bet on a slow and steady climb by computer chip maker Intel Corporation (INTC).
  2. A new price target hike for Google (GOOG) didn't stop bearish traders from zeroing in on potential losses over the next week.
  3. Amazon.com ( AMZN ) climbed on the charts, and option bulls followed , looking for a short-term gain.
  4. The rejection of a new cancer drug in England drew out bearish trading against drug maker Pfizer (PFE).
  5. Visa (V) touched a new record high and option bulls immediately swarmed the credit card company.

EARNINGS

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 pushed past increased domestic inventories to extend their winning streak to four straight sessions. Oil for May delivery rose 24 cents, or 0.3%, to close at a new five-week high of $96.58 per barrel.

The ongoing European concerns renewed gold's safe-haven appeal, leading June-dated gold up $9.90, or 0.6%, to a finish at $1,607.20 per ounce.

SCHAEFFER'S MARKET POSTURE

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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.

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This article appears in: Investing , Options

Referenced Stocks: AMZN , CCL , JPM , UNH , WDC

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