"Despite the fact that we had several earnings reports this
morning, everyone's attention is simply on Congress and its
inability to come to an agreement," mused Schaeffer's Senior Equity
Analyst Joe Bell, CMT. "With the debt ceiling deadline quickly
approaching, the market seems to be moving up and down on every bit
of news and rumor that surfaces relating to the situation." As a
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
closed the session with a triple-digit decline, breaking its
four-day winning streak.
Continue reading for more on today's market, including
- Schaeffer's Senior Trading Analyst Bryan Sapp points out the
"relative strength winner"
in today's seesaw price action.
takes a closer look at the call- and put-buying activity
surrounding these three popular stocks.
- J.C. Penney's (
attracted speculators from both sides of the options fence.
Debt ceiling talks in Washington yielded little progress, New
York manufacturing activity slowed in October, and Molycorp's (
) tumble lured put players to the options pits.
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 15,168.01)
spent the entire session in the red, sinking to an intraday low of
15,161.33 during the afternoon hours of trading. By the closing
bell, the blue-chip bellwether was down 133.3 points, or 0.9%.
Johnson & Johnson (
) and Microsoft (
) were the Dow's two advancers, both up 0.1%, while Home Depot (
) and Procter & Gamble (PG) paced the 28 decliners with a loss
of 1.5% each.
S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,698.06)
was also parked in negative territory for most of the day -- aside
from a brief blip higher just before noon -- and finished 12.1
points, or 0.7%, lower, and below the key 1,700 level. Meanwhile,
Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 3,794.01)
shed 21.3 points, or 0.6%.
CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 18.66)
climbed higher out of the gate, and closed with a gain of 2.6
points, or 16.1%, just shy of its intraday peak.
A Trader's Take
"There isn't too much to be positive about," Bell lamented. "It
seems as if the market is in a holding pattern with all the
uncertainty out of Washington. Today, we saw a bit more selling, as
it seems like the two sides are further apart than ever."
3 Things to Know About Today's Market
- Debt ceiling negotiations dragged on today, as the
House GOP offered up a plan
to counter a deal being drawn up by the Senate, the latter of
which would end the government shutdown and raise the debt
ceiling until early 2014. After a closed-door meeting failed to
generate enough support for the alternative plan, House Speaker
John Boehner, R-Ohio, told reporters, "There are a lot of
opinions about what direction to go. There have been no decisions
about exactly what we will do."
- Elsewhere, Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher, known for his
criticism of the central bank's quantitative easing measures, has
resigned himself to the fact that a
tapering of the Fed's bond-buying program
is unlikely this month. With the Oct. 29-30 policy meeting
rapidly approaching -- and the debt-ceiling drama in the
spotlight -- Fisher stated, "My personal opinion is that it's not
in play. This is just too tender a moment."
- The Empire State
business conditions index
fell to a lower-than-expected 1.5 in October, compared to
September's reading of 6.3. Adding insult to injury, the latest
figure marks the smallest advance since the index fell in May.
Breaking down the numbers even further, the new orders sub-index
climbed to 7.8 from 2.4, while shipments dropped to 13.1 from
5 Stocks We Were Watching Today
Tesla Motors (TSLA)
scored a bullish brokerage note, after the auto concern
significantly raised its unit expectations for 2017.
- Longer-term call buyers pounced on
General Electric (GE)
, as the company prepares to reveal quarterly earnings later this
- A closer look at
sentiment backdrop reveals a bullish bias ahead of tomorrow's
quarterly earnings report.
steep slide triggered a flurry of bearish options activity, as
October put players wagered on extended losses.
- Front-month option bulls zeroed in on
, after the security scored a price-target hike in pre-market
For a look at today's options movers and commodities
activity, head to page 2.
Crude oil suffered its worst daily close since early July, as
budget negotiations in Washington and easing concerns over Iran's
nuclear program dragged prices lower. By the time the dust settled,
the November contract shed $1.20, or 1.2%, to end at $101.21 per
Likewise, the debt ceiling standoff weighed on gold futures, as
well, with the malleable metal closing lower for the fifth time in
six days. December-dated gold fell $3.40, or 0.3%, to finish at
$1,273.20 an ounce.
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