S&P 500, Dow Overcome Morning Lows to Hit Record Closing Highs

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"A poor performance out of Europe weighed on U.S. markets this morning, but stocks picked up a bit around midday, and by the end of the session, most major markets finished slightly in the green," said Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell, CMT. "Tomorrow, we'll finally see the confirmation hearing of the next potential Federal Reserve Chair, Janet Yellen. Many market participants will be paying close attention for any clues as to when tapering might begin." By day's end, both the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) and the S&P 500 Index (SPX) had recovered from early malaise to settle at new record highs.

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

plus...
    Macy's, Inc. ( M ) surged on well-received earnings, Facebook Inc's ( FB ) takeover bid was rejected by Snapchat, and Baidu Inc (ADR) (BIDU) was hit with several lawsuits.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 15,821.63) shook off its morning lows, and touched a record intraday peak of 15,822.98 just ahead of the closing bell. By the end, the blue-chip barometer was up 71 points, or 0.5% -- securing an all-time closing high. Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) led the Dow's 24 advancers with a gain of 2.1%, while a 1.1% loss for E I Du Pont De Nemours And Co (DD) paced the six decliners.

Likewise, the S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,782.00) powered north throughout the day, and finished 14.3 points, or 0.8%, higher -- marking both a record intraday and closing high. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 3,965.58) advanced 45.7 points, or 1.2%.

Elsewhere, the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 12.52) surged at the sound of the opening bell, but lost its momentum later in the day to close 0.3 point, or 2.3%, lower.

CLOSING SUMMARY - INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY - NYSE AND NASDAQ

A Trader's Take :

"We still remain in a bit of a consolidation phase, but today's price action sent the S&P 500 Index (SPX) to a new all-time high," Bell noted. "We are also wrapping up the third-quarter earnings season, and overall, it was a pretty good quarter. Although we didn't get a very high percentage of companies beating on revenues, the earnings-beat rate was quite impressive."

3 Things to Know About Today's Market :

  • Macy's, Inc. ( M ) reported a third-quarter profit of $177 million, or 47 cents per share, up from $145 million, or 36 cents per share, in the year-ago period. Meanwhile, same-store sales climbed 3.5%. Analysts, on average, had expected per-share earnings of 39 cents, and a 2.1% increase in comparable sales. (Reuters)
  • Facebook Inc's ( FB ) $3 billion buyout bid was rejected by Snapchat today. Although the mobile messaging service is being courted by a number of other investors and companies, sources say co-founder and CEO Evan Spiegel will not likely consider any takeover offers until next year. (The Wall Street Journal)
  • The Bank of England (BoE) revised its inflation, growth, and unemployment outlook , prompting some investors to expect a rise in interest rates sooner rather than later. According to the better-than-expected forecast, the BoE said the unemployment rate in the U.K. could hit 7% by the final quarter of 2014 -- two years earlier than what was estimated in August. (CNBC)

5 Stocks We Were Watching Today :

  1. Ahead of tomorrow's turn in the earnings confessional, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (WMT) scored a price-target hike this morning.
  2. Zynga Inc (ZNGA) attracted a near-term call seller, despite the stock's technical prowess on the charts in recent months.
  3. Some negative headlines plagued Baidu Inc (ADR) (BIDU) , as the firm was hit with a round of copyright infringement lawsuits.
  4. Call volume swelled on Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA) , after CEO Elon Musk said the automaker will not recall its Model S sedan.
  5. Best Buy Co., Inc.'s (BBY) new high triggered some bullish spread activity ahead of the retailer's upcoming quarterly earnings report.

EARNINGS

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

STOCKS - NOTABLE CALL ACTIVITY

STOCKS - NOTABLE PUT ACTIVITY

Commodities :

Crude futures climbed higher today, although gains were modest ahead of the delayed crude inventories report. By the time the dust settled, the December contract added 84 cents, or 0.9%, to close at $93.88 per barrel.

Meanwhile, gold futures fell for the fifth consecutive session amid ongoing tapering anxieties. December-dated gold dropped $2.80, or 0.2%, to finish at $1,268.40 per ounce.

SCHAEFFER'S MARKET POSTURE



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.

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This article appears in: Investing , Options

Referenced Stocks: BBRY , FB , M , SINA , YHOO

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