Markets Take a Modest Breather; Dow Edges to New Closing High


"There was little in the way of news today, and most major sectors made very small moves," summarized Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell, CMT. "After the strong run-up in small-caps over the past several trading sessions, it was clear that market participants were taking a bit of a pause." The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) spent most of the session just south of breakeven, but closed ever-so-slightly in the black to secure another new closing high.

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

  • Two major social media concerns -- Facebook Inc ( FB ) and LinkedIn Corp ( LNKD ) -- saw interesting price action and option activity today.
  • Are these World Cup sponsors poised for solid gains?
  • And in case you missed it , Schaeffer's contributor Adam Warner breaks down how the Apple Inc. ( AAPL ) stock split could impact Apple options-trading action .
  • Plus ... Good news for small businesses, bullish activity on Sprint Corporation ( S ), and big moves from a pair of biotech names.
Trading Topic of the Week -- Tips for Short-Term Trading: Check the charts for key support and resistance levels . Your time frame may be brief, but don't neglect those long-term charts -- or you could overlook a key stumbling block for the underlying stock.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 16,945.92) was in the red for most of the day, but popped into positive territory just before the close. The index's 2.8-point gain was enough to put another new closing high in the books. The Dow's 16 advancers were led by Intel Corporation ( INTC ), which gained 1.2%. International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) paced the declining minority with a 1% drop.

On the other hand, the S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,950.79) stayed below breakeven into the closing bell, settling off 0.5 point but holding above the critical 1,950 level. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,338.00) edged into the green, rising 1.8 points.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 10.99) traded on both sides of the flat line today but closed slightly lower, off 0.2 point, or 1.4%, to move back south of 11.



A Trader's Take :

"While many of the leaders in recent days struggled a bit, some of the consumer staples and more defensive names held up relatively well," added Bell. "Overall, it was a pretty lackluster day for stocks, with very little movement."

5 Items on Our Radar Today :

  1. The National Federation of Independent Business reported that its Small Business Optimism Index ticked 1.4 points higher to 96.6 in May, marking its highest level since September 2007. Also, the Labor Department announced that job openings rose by 289,000 in April to a seasonally adjusted 4.46 million, the highest monthly reading since August 2007. (Reuters)
  2. Wholesale inventories increased 1.1% in April , while wholesale sales advanced 1.3%. Against this backdrop, the inventory-to-sales ratio held steady at 1.18 months. (MarketWatch)
  3. Amid continued expectations for a merger with T-Mobile US Inc (TMUS), one Sprint Corporation ( S ) trader extended her bullish bet by rolling calls up and out.
  4. Big movers in the biotech sector today included Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ACHN) and Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc (NYSEMKT:INO) .
  5. Twitter Inc (TWTR) scored an upgrade from Wells Fargo, but continues to struggle with technical resistance.


For a look at today's options movers and commodities activity, head to page 2.



Commodities :

July crude futures inched lower today, ahead of tomorrow's weekly report on crude inventories. The most active contract gave back 6 cents to end the day at $104.35 per barrel. Also in focus for oil watchers this week is tomorrow's meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) -- its first gathering of 2014.

Gold futures moved slightly higher today, as equities tapped the brakes and investors prepared for the rest of this week's economic reports. August-dated gold rose $6.20, or 0.5%, to settle at $1,260.10 an ounce.


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.

All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized reproduction of any SIR publication is strictly prohibited.

This article appears in: Investing , Options

Referenced Stocks: FB , LNKD , AAPL , S , INTC

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