"After yesterday's massive late-day rally, most of the major
sectors took a little breather, and results were fairly mixed
today," observed Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell, CMT.
"The initial jobless claims number came in at 309,000, but the
computer glitches with California and Nevada seem to be causing
some of the same issues we saw with these figures for the past few
weeks." Meanwhile, the
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
pulled back slightly from Wednesday's record high to close in
Continue reading for more on today's market, including
- Schaeffer's Senior Trading Analyst Bryan Sapp reflects on
and notes which area should act as support for the S&P 500
- Which Internet giant could be poised for near-term losses,
according to our Senior Options Strategist Tony Venosa, CMT? Tune
in to his
Chart of the Day
column to find out.
- This week's
Short Interest Update
highlights three outperforming stocks that could end up
benefiting from increased skepticism on the Street.
Existing home sales hit a multi-year high, JPMorgan Chase (
) admitted to trading misdeeds, and Groupon (
) soared on some bullish brokerage attention.
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 15,636.55)
spent just a small amount of time in the black this morning, and
eventually sank to an intraday low of 15,625.45 during the
afternoon hours. By the close, the blue-chip bellwether was down
40.4 points, or 0.3% -- its first losing session in five. Home
) led the Dow's eight advancers with a gain of 1.5%, while
) paced the laggards yet again with a loss of 3%.
S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,722.34)
followed a similar path, but managed to tag yet another record
intraday high of 1,729.86 early in the session. By the closing
bell, however, the index was down 3.2 points, or 0.2%. Meanwhile,
Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 3,789.38)
fared the best of its peers, advancing 5.7 points, or 0.2%, and
reaching -- once again -- its highest point in almost 13 years.
CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 13.16)
dropped right out of the gate, and remained south of breakeven for
the entire session to finish 0.4 point, or 3.2%, lower on the day.
The "fear barometer" is in danger of finishing a second consecutive
week south of its 20-week moving average.
A Trader's Take
"The Nasdaq was the clear leader today, as Apple (
) had a pretty nice day after its recent poor price action,"
continued Bell. "Given the notable run up by all the major sectors
this month, it's not too surprising that we had a day like
3 Things to Know About Today's Market
- The National Association of Realtors said
existing home sales
climbed 1.7% in August to a seasonally adjusted yearly rate of
5.48 million, compared to July's unrevised rate of 5.39 million.
This latest figure not only exceeded consensus estimates, but
also marked the highest level since February 2007.
- The Conference Board revealed that its
Leading Economic Index (LEI)
rose by a larger than expected 0.7% last month to a reading of
96.6, versus July's increase of 0.5%. "If the LEI's six-month
growth rate, which has nearly doubled, continues in the coming
months, economic growth should gradually strengthen through the
end of the year," noted a Conference Board economist.
- In an effort to move past the now infamous "London Whale"
drama, JPMorgan Chase (
) agreed to cough up
around $920 million
for violating federal securities laws. The firm failed to
adequately inform both its board and regulators regarding trading
losses at its CIO unit, which is responsible for helping to
reduce risk and oversee excess deposits.
5 Stocks We Were Watching Today
scored an upgrade at Stifel Nicolaus this morning, on the heels
of some M&A news.
- Pessimistic traders have been pummeling
Electronic Arts (EA)
, despite the stock's upward trajectory.
- Weaker-than-expected guidance prompted William Blair to
initiate lukewarm coverage of
- A new high for
Sirius XM Radio (SIRI)
triggered a flurry of bullish options activity, with a focus on
- Front-month speculators predicted extended upside for
Barrick Gold (ABX)
, amid the stock's Fed-induced rally.
For a look at today's options movers and commodities
activity, head to page 2.
Crude futures declined today, as yesterday's downwardly revised
economic forecast from the Fed sparked anxieties over energy
demand. By the time the dust settled, October-dated crude fell
$1.68, or 1.6%, to end at $106.39 per barrel.
On the other hand, gold futures notched their largest daily gain
since March 2009, thanks to the central bank's decision to maintain
its current bond-buying program. Gold for December delivery gained
$61.70, or 4.7%, to end at $1,369.30 an ounce -- its highest close
in almost two weeks.
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