"We had a few big retailers report earnings this morning, and
the results were mixed," said Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe
Bell, CMT. "Once again, an early rally gave way to late-day
selling, and by the end of the session, markets finished near
breakeven." With the Federal Open Market Committee's (FOMC) latest
meeting minutes on tap for tomorrow, the
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
closed in negative territory, after again crossing above and back
below the 16,000 level in intraday trading.
Continue reading for more on today's market, including
The employment cost index climbed higher for the third quarter,
Chicago Fed President Charles Evans made dovish comments, and
Salesforce.com, inc. (
) received some earnings-induced analyst attention.
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 15,967.03)
spent a portion of the morning north of breakeven, but ended up
finishing 9 points, or roughly 0.1%, lower. Chevron Corporation (
) led the Dow's 14 advancers with a gain of 1.2%, while a 1.3% drop
for Visa Inc (V) paced the 16 decliners.
S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,787.87)
charted a similar a path as its blue-chip brethren, but ended up
shedding 3.7 points, or 0.2%. Meanwhile, the
Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 3,931.55)
fell 17.5 points, or 0.4%.
CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 13.39)
spent most of the day in the black, and added 0.3 point, or 2.2%,
for the session.
A Trader's Take
"Once again, large-caps stood out above the rest," Bell noted.
"The Dow led the way, with financials and healthcare stocks having
a nice day. Overall, we still seem to just be taking a bit of a
breather after the strong rally late last week."
3 Things to Know About Today's Market
- The Home Depot, Inc. (HD) reported a
of $1.35 billion, or 95 cents per share, up from $947 million, or
63 cents per share, in the year-ago period. Meanwhile, revenue
climbed 7.4% to $19.5 billion. Economists, on average, were
expecting per-share earnings of 90 cents on sales of $19.2
- The Labor Department said its
employment cost index
rose by a seasonally adjusted 0.4% in the third quarter --
slightly less than the consensus view. On a year-over-year basis,
employment costs were steady, reflecting a 1.9% increase.
- Chicago Fed President Charles Evans was the latest central
bank official to weigh in on the
topic of tapering
. During a speech delivered at the Illinois Bankers Association,
Evans said the Fed remains committed to reducing unemployment and
adjusting inflation toward the 2% target. Regarding the central
bank's current bond-buying program, Evans remarked, "I would say
the benefits far outweigh the costs."
5 Stocks We Were Watching Today
Salesforce.com, inc. (
scored a bevy of bullish brokerage notes following last night's
turn in the earnings confessional.
- Pre-earnings option bears zeroed in on
GameStop Corp. (GME)
, and scooped up weekly puts.
T-Mobile US Inc (TMUS)
saw a surge in call volume, particularly in the January 2014
series of options.
- One longer-term spread strategist wagered on a notable move
Ford Motor Company (F)
- This particular near-term
Facebook Inc (FB)
strike attracted another crop of put sellers.
For a look at today's options movers and commodities
activity, head to page 2.
Crude futures edged higher today ahead of tomorrow's weekly oil
supply report. By the closing bell, the December contract tacked on
31 cents, or 0.3%, to end at $93.34 per barrel.
Meanwhile, gold futures turned north after yesterday's
Fed-induced loss, as December-dated gold rose $1.20, or 0.1%, to
settle at $1,273.50 per ounce.