"We once again had a day full of intraday volatility capped off
with underperformance by small-caps and technology stocks," said
Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell, CMT, as the
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
notched a loss of nearly 99 points. "It's almost becoming a repeat
every day, as strength is met with selling pressure and buyers come
to the table to buy the dips. Once the dust settles, there hasn't
been a ton of net movement for the Dow and S&P 500 Index (SPX)
-- but under the surface, there was some real weakness."
Trading Topic of the Week
Continue reading for more on today's market, including
-- Tips for Buying Weekly Options:
Look for a catalyst
. Check the stock's fundamental, technical, and sentiment data to
pinpoint possible triggers for a big move.
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 16,268.99)
gave up intraday support at 16,300 in the final half-hour of
trading, eventually tumbling to a loss of 98.9 points, or 0.6%.
Only four of the Dow's 30 components closed higher, led by a 1.5%
gain for Merck & Co., Inc. (
). Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) paced the 26 decliners with a 1.4%
S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,852.56)
was also smacked by the eleventh-hour sell-off, ending on a drop of
13.1 points, or 0.7%. However, the
Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,173.58)
fared even worse. By the time the closing bell sounded, the
tech-heavy index was off 60.7 points, or 1.4%.
CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 14.93)
jolted higher as stocks stumbled. After a wobbly start to the
session, the VIX wrapped up the day on a gain of 0.9 point, or
A Trader's Take
"Durable goods orders improved in February after falling in
January," noted Bell. "That was a nice upside surprise, but market
participants will continue to monitor economic reports to see
whether the improvement in weather will lead to a pick-up in
economic activity. These reports are very important as investors
continue to look for indications on just how soon the Fed might
5 Items on Our Radar Today
U.S. orders for durable goods
increased 2.2% last month compared to January, according to the
Commerce Department. This was a welcome development for
economists, as demand for long-lasting manufactured goods had
declined in the two months prior to this latest report. However,
optimism surrounding the data was tempered by an unanticipated
1.3% fall in orders for non-defense capital goods excluding
aircraft, which are used to gauge future business spending.
- "Candy Crush" parent King Digital Entertainment Plc (
flopped in its initial public offering (IPO)
, plummeting well below initial pricing levels to establish
itself as the worst-performing IPO of 2014. However, CEO Ricardo
Zacconi refused to let the setback temper his excitement, saying
today was just "the start of a marathon."
- Despite its long-term technical strength,
Under Armour Inc (UA)
continues to face doubt in the options pits and beyond.
- Call buying accelerated on
Apple Inc. (AAPL)
as the stock added to its week-to-date gains.
AOL, Inc. (
options pits were flooded with call buyers as the stock continued
to make headway.
For a look at today's options movers and commodities
activity, head to page 2.
Crude futures ticked higher today on news of a substantial
drop in domestic gasoline supplies. The May contract reclaimed
the century mark for the first time in about two weeks, adding
$1.07, or 1.1%, to end at $100.26 per barrel.
Meanwhile, gold futures tagged a roughly six-week low as the
U.S. dollar strengthened, with the April contract shedding $8.00,
or 0.6%, to end at $1,303.40 per ounce.
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