"Another day, and more selling," observed Schaeffer's Senior
Technical Strategist Ryan Detrick, CMT. "The
S&P 500 Index (SPX)
is now down five straight days, the longest losing streak in 2013,
matching the streak that coincided with the fiscal cliff drama in
late December. Afternoon concerns over Wal-Mart (
) cutting orders sparked some weakness. Although WMT said this
report was erroneous, the shares still closed 1.5% lower." Adding
insult to injury, the
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
also finished in negative territory, marking its own five-day
Continue reading for more on today's market, including
- Schaeffer's Senior Trading Analyst Bryan Sapp opines that,
despite today's choppy price action,
"the bulls are still in control"
for the long term.
- In his
Chart of the Day
column, Schaeffer's Senior Options Strategist Tony Venosa, CMT,
forecasts a move lower for Peabody Energy (
- This popular Internet stock's surge higher sparked a
flurry of bullish betting
, with traders wagering on new annual highs by week's end.
New home sales surged in August, bloated inventory rumors
plagued Wal-Mart (
), and Facebook's (
) bullish brokerage notes lured call players to the options
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 15,273.26)
spent most of the day in the red, touching a session low of
15,253.16 just before 2:00 p.m. ET. By the closing bell, the index
was down 61.3 points, or 0.4% -- bringing its losing streak to five
days. JPMorgan Chase (
) led the blue-chip bellwether's six advancers with a gain of 2.7%,
while Wal-Mart (
) paced the 22 decliners with a loss of 1.5%. Intel (
) and DuPont (DD) remained unchanged.
S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,692.77)
was also parked in negative territory for much of the session,
although it touched an intraday high of 1,701.71 around noon.
Nevertheless, the index was back in the red by the close, finishing
4.7 points, or 0.3%, lower -- marking its longest losing streak
since late December. Meanwhile, the
Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 3,761.10)
shed 7.2 points, or 0.2%.
CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 14.01)
started the day off higher, but ended the session with a loss of
0.1 point, or 0.5%. The "fear barometer" is on pace to finish a
third consecutive week below its 20-week moving average.
A Trader's Take
"Small-caps continue to hold up very well," Detrick noted. "Even
financials, which had been lagging by a wide margin, bounced some
today. Nonetheless, with all the uncertainty that is swirling
around the upcoming Washington budget drama, traders are clearly
treading lightly here."
3 Things to Know About Today's Market
- The Commerce Department said
new home sales
climbed by 7.9% in August -- marking their fastest growth rate
since the start of 2013, and a welcome change from July's
decline. The latest figure also fell roughly in line with the
consensus view. On a year-over-year basis, new home sales rose
- Meanwhile, a separate report showed that
durable goods orders
unexpectedly increased by 0.1% in August, after declining for the
past two months. Breaking down the numbers further, orders for
core durable goods rose 1.5%. However, excluding transportation,
new orders edged 0.1% lower.
- Wal-Mart (
) took center stage today, amid news that the retailer
is cutting U.S. orders
in an effort to reduce inventory. The buzz started circulating
after several suppliers claimed they received emails describing
the inventory reductions from an ordering manager in Arkansas.
However, a spokesperson for WMT said the report is "misleading"
and "completely false."
5 Stocks We Were Watching Today
- Some upbeat analyst attention triggered a mix of call buying
and selling in
J.C. Penney's (JCP)
notable tumble attracted a slew of longer-term, bearish
- A news-induced price surge for
prompted traders to scoop up weekly calls.
Applied Materials (AMAT)
option bulls wagered on new highs following yesterday's
well-received M&A news.
- Following an early morning price-target hike,
Tesla Motors (TSLA)
options players sold-to-open weekly puts.
For a look at today's options movers and commodities
activity, head to page 2.
Crude futures fell for a fifth consecutive session, as an
unexpected rise in oil supplies pushed prices lower. By the time
the dust settled, November-dated crude shaved off 47 cents, or
0.5%, to end at $102.66 per barrel -- marking the lowest close for
a front-month contract in nearly three months.
Conversely, gold futures snapped their losing streak, as
uncertainty in Washington lured investors to the malleable metal.
Gold for December delivery added $19.90, or 1.5%, to finish at
$1,336.20 an ounce.