SPX Tags Four-Year Best Before Closing in the Red

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) was up 59 points before lunchtime today, but as the day wore on, the downtrend only steepened. "Although the market erased early gains and finished in the red, traders continue to wait for the Federal Reserve's annual summit in Jackson Hole, beginning August 30," noted Schaeffer's Senior Equities Analyst Joe Bell. " Apple Inc. ( AAPL ) took the spotlight earlier today, as it reversed its rally and dragged the tech sector down with it."

Keep reading to see what else was on our radar today:

And now, a look at the numbers...

CLOSING SUMMARY - INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY - NYSE AND NASDAQ

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 13,203.58) began its decent in the late-morning hours today, and drifted more than 85 points to its intraday low of 13,186.60. By the time the dust cleared, the Dow turned in a 68.1-point, or 0.5%, defeat. All but eight of the 30 blue chips slipped into negative territory, as Verizon Communications Inc. ( VZ ) and Merck & Co., Inc. ( MRK ) led the underperforming majority with matching losses of 1.9%. Meanwhile, JPMorgan Chase & Co. ( JPM ) paced winning issues with a 1.8% rise.

Similarly, the S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,413.17) and Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 3,067.26) also erased early gains and finished lower on the day. The SPX fell from its session best of 1,426.68 -- its loftiest price since May 2008 -- and closed trading with a roughly 5-point, or 0.4%, deficit. The tech-rich COMP sawed off nearly 9 points, or 0.3%.

The CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 15.02) notched its second consecutive gain today, advancing 7.1%. The VIX also settled above 15 for the first time since August 9.

Today's highlight : "Small caps continued to lead today, a trend we have started to see pick back up in August," said Bell. "After months of underperformance, a resurgence from this group could bode well for the overall market."

Turning to today's major market stories...

For today's activity in commodities, options, and more, head to page 2.

Oil futures closed in the green today, as euro-zone optimism lifted the euro to its best price since early July. While the dollar weakened, the commodity finished at its loftiest settlement in three months. Against this backdrop, the now-expired September-dated contract added 71 cents, or 0.7%, to end at $96.68 a barrel. Crude for October delivery -- the new front-month contract -- gained 58 cents, or 0.6%, to close at $96.84 a barrel.

Likewise, gold futures finished higher today, prolonging their winning streak to five sessions. The commodity was supported by hopes that economic stimulus for the euro zone will be implemented by the European Central Bank. By the close, December-dated gold jumped $19.90, or 1.2%, to land at $1,642.90 an ounce. This marked the malleable metal's highest perch since May 4.

Levels to watch in trading...

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 13,203.58) - support at 11,500; resistance at 14,000
  • S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,413.17) - support at 1,100; resistance at 1,500
  • Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 3,067.26) - support at 2,400; resistance at 3,400

OUTPERFORMING AND UNDERPERFORMING SECTORS

STOCKS - MOVERS

STOCKS - EARNINGS

STOCKS - NOTABLE CALL ACTIVITY

STOCKS - NOTABLE PUT ACTIVITY

Click through to read coverage of today's notable annual highs and lows .

SCHAEFFER'S MARKET POSTURE

At the end of every market day, the staff at Schaeffer's Investment Research reviews the trading day in detail, covering major events and key market developments. Don't miss this critical, timely and insightful report. If you enjoyed today's edition of Market Recap, sign up here for free daily delivery straight to your inbox.



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.

All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized reproduction of any SIR publication is strictly prohibited.


This article appears in: Investing , Options

Referenced Stocks: AAPL , GS , JPM , MRK , VZ

Schaeffer's Investment Research

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