"It was a nice day for the bulls on the last day of the
quarter," quipped Schaeffer's Senior Technical Strategist Ryan
Detrick, CMT. "Small-caps -- which had their worst week in nearly a
year and a half last week -- bounced back and were up nearly 2% on
the session. On the charts, the S&P 500 held the 1,845 area
last week, and that was a good sign. Still, this is an extremely
busy week on the economic front. Both ISM (services and
manufacturing) reports are due, but the big one is on Friday, when
we'll hear the monthly jobs data. With so much focus on the
economy, expect some potential big moves coming later this week."
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
finished the first quarter slightly lower, the blue-chip index
ended the month in positive territory, and closed March on a strong
note, up 135 points on the day.
Continue reading for more on today's market, including
Trading Topic of the Week
- Which key trendline is the Global X Social Media ETF (SOCL)
currently approaching, and where else might the ETF
find resistance or support
? Schaeffer's Senior VP of Research Todd Salamone
- Weekly call buyers swarmed Tesla Motors Inc (
) today, though
their motives were less than clear
- How Intel Corporation (
bet against the stock
returning to annual-high levels.
... Fed Chief Janet Yellen cheers the markets, Apple Inc. (
) attracts a slew of skeptics, and call buyers bet on a near-term
recovery in General Motors Company (
-- Trading Low-Priced Options:
DO target smaller stocks with the potential for big
. It's easy to get caught up in the excitement surrounding
big-name, high-dollar stocks like Apple Inc. (
). Remember, though -- a small-cap stock trading at $10 per share
needs to rise only 10 points to double in value.
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 16,457.66)
traded in positive territory for the full session, eventually
closing with a gain of 134.6 points, or 0.8%. In March, the Dow
added 0.8%, but the index lost 0.7% during the first quarter.
Twenty-five of the Dow's 30 stocks moved higher on the day, with
Visa Inc (
) and United Technologies Corporation (UTX) leading the pack, each
gaining 1.8%. The Coca-Cola Company (KO) brought up the rear with
its 0.7% drop, and AT&T Inc. (T) was unchanged.
S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,872.34)
also gained ground, sprinting up 14.7 points, or 0.8%. Elsewhere,
Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,198.99)
rose 43.2 points, or 1%, but failed to close north of the 4,200
century mark. The SPX gained 0.7% for the month and 1.3% for the
quarter; the COMP lost 2.5% during March but is 0.5% higher
CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 13.88)
gapped lower out of the gate and traded in the red for the entire
session. By the close, the VIX had dropped 0.5 point, or 3.7%, to
close south of the 14 level for the first time since March 5. In
March, the "fear barometer" edged 0.9% lower, but gained 1.2%
during the first quarter.
A Trader's Take
"The Russell 2000 Index (RUT) moved higher for a record seven
straight quarters -- something that has never happened before --
wow," noted Detrick. "Two other times, the small-cap index was up
six quarters in a row, but it never made it to seven until now.
Turning to the SPX, it is now up five quarters in a row for just
fifth time the past 40 years
. Be aware that four of those times, the SPX was down the next
quarter. Of course, the one time it was up (in the late 1990s), it
eventually went up 14 quarters in a row."
5 Items on Our Radar Today
- Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen noted that the central
bank's "extraordinary" efforts to support the economy --
including asset buying and low interest rates -- may
persist for "some time."
She also confirmed this opinion was "widely shared" by her fellow
Federal Open Market Committee leaders.
(The New York Times)
- The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said its
Chicago business barometer
-- tracking manufacturing activity in the Midwest -- dropped to
55.9 this month from 59.8 in February. The reading fell short of
economists' expectations and hit its lowest point since August.
Elsewhere, the Dallas Fed reported a
in its general business activity index, to 4.9 in March from 0.3
(NASDAQ; The Wall Street Journal)
- Put buyers scooped up back-month puts on
Apple Inc. (
, as the iPad parent begins its second courtroom appearance
against Samsung Electronics.
Wells Fargo & Co (WFC)
scored a price-target hike this morning, on the heels of Federal
Reserve approval of the banking giant's capital plan.
- Call buyers descended upon
General Motors Company (
in hopes that the automaker will bounce back from recent
For a look at today's options movers and commodities
activity, head to page 2.
Oil futures lost some ground on Monday, as investors digested
regional manufacturing data. The May contract edged 9 cents, or
0.1%, lower to settle at $101.58 per barrel. Comparing the
most-active contracts, black gold slipped nearly 1% in March but
added 3.2% in the first quarter.
Gold continued to decline on Monday, losing value for the fourth
consecutive session. By the closing bell, the June contract dropped
$10.50, or 0.8%, to land at $1,283.80 an ounce. Gold pulled back
2.9% during March, but jumped 6.8% during the first quarter.
All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized reproduction of any SIR publication is strictly prohibited.