"We had a slew of better-than-expected economic reports this
morning, as initial jobless claims, factory orders, and the ISM
non-manufacturing index all surpassed most estimates," noted
Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell, CMT. "The market
managed a small gain, as many participants continue trying to
predict if the Fed will begin tapering its bond-buying program at
its September meeting." To that end, the
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
closed the session with a modest advance.
Continue reading for more on today's market, including
- Schaeffer's Senior Trading Analyst Bryan Sapp reiterates his
bearish market stance -- despite today's
"blowout economic numbers."
- In his
Chart of the Day
column, Schaeffer's Senior Options Strategist Tony Venosa, CMT,
lists 10 reasons why bulls should keep an eye on NVIDIA (
- The latest edition of
examines three stocks that have been popular among options
Weekly jobless claims declined, the ISM's non-manufacturing
index hit its highest peak since late 2005, and November option
bulls pounced on Citigroup (
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 14,937.48)
tagged an intraday high of 14,987.47 within the first hour of
trading, but gradually pared its gains throughout the session.
Nevertheless, the blue-chip barometer still managed to finish 6.6
points, or 0.04%, higher. The Dow's 15 advancers were led by
UnitedHealth Group (
) and American Express (
) -- both of which added 0.9% -- while Home Depot (
) paced the 15 laggards with a decline of 1.6%.
S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,655.08)
also touched a session peak of 1,659.17 during the morning hours of
trading, and ended with a modest gain of 2 points, or 0.1%.
Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 3,658.78)
rose 9.7 points, or 0.3%.
CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 15.77)
spent most of the day in the red, sinking to an intraday low of
15.63 during the latter half of the session. By the close, the
"fear barometer" was off 0.1 point, or 0.7%.
A Trader's Take
"After some volatility and heavy selling during the past couple
of weeks, the downward momentum has definitely slowed, and it seems
like many of the major sectors are starting to regain their
footing," Bell went on. "With Syria looming and the Fed decision
right around the corner, there is still a healthy dose of
uncertainty surrounding this market."
3 Things to Know About Today's Market
- The Labor Department said
weekly jobless claims
fell by a larger-than-expected 9,000 last week to a seasonally
adjusted 323,000 -- just slightly above a five-and-a-half year
low. Meanwhile, the four-week moving average for first-time
unemployment filings fell by 3,000 to 328,500, marking its lowest
level since October 2007.
- Meanwhile, the Automatic Data Processing (ADP)
showed that private employers created 176,000 jobs in August, the
bulk of which came from the service sector. However, last month's
data reflects a drop from July's adjusted total of 198,000, and
came in below economists' projections for an increase of 180,000.
- The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) revealed that its
arrived at 58.6 last month, up from July's reading of 56. The
August figure exceeded consensus estimates for a reading of 55,
while also notching the index's highest level since December
5 Stocks We Were Watching Today
traded higher today, thanks to an upgrade at Morgan Stanley ahead
of the opening bell.
- Short-term traders wagered on a bounce for
Sirius XM Radio (SIRI)
by picking up the stock's October-dated calls.
- Speculators placed bullish bets on
Bank of America (BAC)
amid this morning's lawsuit update.
- A closer look at
reveals the mixed sentiment floating through the Street.
saw a surge in call volume, most notably within the November
series of options.
For a look at today's options movers and commodities
activity, head to page 2.
Crude futures muscled back atop the $108 mark, boosted by
ongoing anxieties regarding potential U.S. military action against
Syria, as well as a notable decline in gasoline supplies. By the
closing bell, October-dated oil tacked on $1.14, or 1.1%, to finish
at $108.37 per barrel.
Conversely, gold futures fell for the fifth time in six days, as
today's upbeat economic data strengthened the greenback. The
malleable metal's December contract lopped off $17, or 1.2%, to
close at $1,373 an ounce.
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