"There really wasn't any significant news over the weekend, and
most global markets finished higher, as the 'don't short a boring
market' mantra stayed intact," said Schaeffer's Senior Trading
Analyst Bryan Sapp. "Until there is something new to surface, it's
likely the slow grind higher will continue." However, the
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
pared earlier gains to close in negative territory.
Continue reading for more on today's market, including
Pending home sales hit a multi-month low, industrial production
gained significant ground, and Apple Inc. (
) received a pre-earnings price-target hike.
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 15,568.93)
had a bumpy ride this morning, and then rose into positive
territory during the afternoon hours. By the closing bell, however,
the index was off 1.4 points, or 0.01%. The Procter & Gamble
) led the Dow's 17 advancers with a gain of 1.6%, while Merck &
Co., Inc.'s (MRK) earnings-induced loss of 2.6% paced the 13
S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,762.11)
also spent time on both sides of breakeven, but managed to tag a
record intraday peak of 1,764.99 before finishing 2.3 points, or
0.1%, higher -- also notching an all-time
high. Meanwhile, the
Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 3,940.13)
shed 3.2 points, or 0.1%, on the day.
CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 13.31)
moved higher right out of the gate, and finished with a gain of 0.2
point, or 1.7%, by the closing bell.
3 Things to Know About Today's Market
- The National Association of Realtors said
pending home sales
fell 5.6% in September, marking their lowest level in nine
months. On a year-over-year basis, sales were off 1.2%, denoting
the first annual decline in over two years.
- Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) reported
of $1.12 billion, or 38 cents per share, down from $1.73 billion,
or 56 cents per share, in the year-ago period. Excluding items,
profits arrived at 92 cents per share, exceeding consensus
expectations for adjusted, per-share earnings of 88 cents.
- The Federal Reserve revealed that
climbed 0.6% in September, notching its largest advance in seven
months. Economists, on average, had forecast a gain of just 0.4%.
5 Stocks We Were Watching Today
- Longer-term call sellers flocked toward
Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO)
despite the stock's year-over-year advance.
Sirius XM Radio Inc (SIRI)
attracted near-term bulls -- or skeptics -- following the firm's
poorly received quarterly earnings report.
- Ahead of tonight's turn at the earnings plate,
Apple Inc. (
received an upward price-target adjustment.
- Put volume spiked on
Qihoo 360 Technology Co Ltd (QIHU)
, with speculators targeting both short- and long-term
J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (JCP)
reiterated its upbeat quarterly sales outlook, triggering a wave
of weekly call-buying activity.
For a look at today's options movers and commodities
activity, head to page 2.
Crude futures edged higher for a third straight session, as
investors searched today's mixed bag of economic data for tapering
clues. By the closing bell, the December contract tacked on 83
cents, or 0.9%, to end at $98.68 per barrel.
Conversely, gold futures settled lower for the first time in
three trading days, as the same data had a negative impact on the
precious metal. December-dated gold shaved off 30 cents to finish
at $1,352.20 an ounce.