"It took three days of trying, but the S&P 500 Index (SPX)
finally cracked the 1,850 area and closed at a new all-time high,"
Schaeffer's Senior Technical Strategist Ryan Detrick, CMT, summed
up. "We've been saying we expected this area to be some trouble,
but the fact prices were able to consolidate near this area without
seeing much of a big dip was a clue that maybe it would give way
sooner rather than later. There's an old saying not to short a dull
market, and the past three days were pretty dull." Against this
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
emerged from an early move south of breakeven to close 74 points
Continue reading for more on today's market, including
... Fed Chair Janet Yellen discusses the weather, Apple Inc. (
) speculators act ahead of tomorrow's shareholder meeting, and J.C.
Penney Company, Inc. (
) finally gets some good news.
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 16,272.65)
spent a portion of the early morning below breakeven, but gained
momentum throughout the day, ultimately closing up 74.2 points, or
0.5%. Verizon Communications Inc. (
) rose 2.5% to lead the Dow's 22 advancers, while Caterpillar Inc.
(CAT) finished last with a 0.5% decline. McDonald's Corporation
(MCD) was unchanged on the day.
It was a photo finish for the
S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,854.29)
, which added 9.1 points, or 0.5%, to muster a new all-time closing
Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,318.93)
, meanwhile, neared a 14-year peak once again and settled 26.9
points, or 0.6%, higher.
CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 14.04)
slumped as stocks rallied, but managed to hold north of the 14
level. By the close, the "fear gauge" had slipped 0.3 point, or
A Trader's Take
"Fed Chair Janet Yellen didn't do anything to rock the boat this
morning, and durable goods orders weren't too bad, either," added
Detrick. "All in all, the bulls continue to be in control. If new
all-time highs for the SPX weren't enough, the S&P 400 MidCap
Index (MID) and Russell 2000 Index (RUT) also made new closing
highs. The big laggards have been the Dow and the financial sector.
Still, things look pretty good here. Sure, there are signs of some
froth when you look at the moves in names like Tesla Motors Inc
(TSLA) and see Facebook Inc (FB) paying $19 billion for WhatsApp,
but when you consider short interest on SPX components is near a
multi-year high, that shows there is the potential for a lot of
short covering to drive things higher over the coming months. Then
-- considering March and April have been two of the strongest
months going back the past 20 years -- seasonality looks nice
5 Items on Our Radar Today
- In weather-delayed
testimony before the Senate Banking Committee
, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen noted that recent economic
reports were similarly impacted by the polar vortex.
Weaker-than-expected data as far as retail sales and home
construction "may reflect adverse weather conditions," she noted,
"But at this point it's difficult to discern exactly how much."
That said, Yellen also implied she feels comfortable maintaining
the current pace of tapering, unless future reports also suggest
an economic slowdown.
- Durable goods orders slipped by 1% in January from the
previous month, due in large part to reduced demand for
commercial aircraft. The core reading -- which eliminates the
volatile transportation variable --
rose 1.1% last month
, erasing the bulk of December's decline.
- Short-term bullish traders pounced on
Apple Inc. (
as the iPhone parent prepared for tomorrow's annual shareholder
- On the heels of its fourth-quarter earnings report and 2014
J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (
earned a handful of price-target hikes.
Questcor Pharmaceuticals Inc (QCOR)
remained popular among put traders, as its post-earnings pullback
For a look at today's options movers and commodities
activity, head to page 2.
edged lower on the day, as investors continued to digest
yesterday's inventory report and considered Fed Chair Janet
Yellen's remarks before congressional leaders. By the close, April
crude futures had slipped 19 cents, or 0.2%, to $102.40 per
Gold futures moved higher, as rising tensions in Ukraine
enhanced the precious metal's safe-haven appeal. April-dated gold
ended the session up $3.80, or 0.3%, at $1,331.80 an ounce.