Stocks Break Winning Streak but Hold Technical Support

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"After disappointing Empire State manufacturing data, the market finished in the red," said Schaeffer's Senior Equities Analyst Joe Bell. "Obviously, the big news last week was QE3 and the market's strong positive reaction. After such a strong run up, it makes a lot of sense for a little breather today." Although the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) drifted to its first loss in the past five sessions, the index secured its third consecutive close atop the 13,500 level.

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 - 13,553.10) was off nearly 67 points at its intraday low of 13,526.67. But by the time the closing bell sounded, the Dow had pared some of its deficit, giving up 40.3 points, or 0.3%. Nineteen of the 30 blue chips finished with losses, as Alcoa Inc. ( AA ) and Bank of America Corp ( BAC ) paced the underperformers with 2.6% declines each. On the other hand, Pfizer Inc. ( PFE ) and AT&T Inc. ( T ) led the winning issues with a 0.9% gains. Microsoft Corporation ( MSFT ) parked at breakeven.

After reaching a roughly five-year peak on Friday, the S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,461.19) headed south today, retreating 4.6 points, or 0.3%. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 3,178.67) faced a similar fate, dropping 5.3 points, or 0.2%, from its decade-plus high perch.

The CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 14.59) turned higher by a tenth of a point, or 0.6%, settling atop the 14.50 mark for a second straight session.

Today's highlight : "Beneath today's small sell-off, we saw more mergers and acquisitions activity," noted Bell. "Medical equipment supplier, IRIS International, Inc. (IRIS) was up huge after being acquired by Danaher Corporation (DHR). In recent months, we have seen a pickup in this type of activity , which is a good sign for the strength of the market."

Turning to today's major market stories...

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

With tensions mounting in the Middle East, as well as between China and Japan, crude oil futures were in positive territory for most of the session. But in the last minutes of trading, the commodity took a significant dive on talk of a release from domestic strategic oil reserves. Against this backdrop, crude for October delivery lopped off $2.38, or 2.4%, to close at $96.62 a barrel.

Following a six-month high settlement on Friday, gold futures buckled today, as speculators took their profits from last-week's Fed-inspired gains. By the close, December-dated gold slipped $2.10, or 0.1%, to end at $1,770.60 an ounce.

Levels to watch in trading...

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 13,553.10) - support at 11,500; resistance at 14,000
  • S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,461.19) - support at 1,100; resistance at 1,500
  • Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 3,178.67) - support at 2,400; resistance at 3,400

OUTPERFORMING AND UNDERPERFORMING SECTORS

STOCKS - MOVERS

STOCKS - EARNINGS

STOCKS - NOTABLE CALL ACTIVITY

STOCKS - NOTABLE PUT ACTIVITY

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: AA , BAC , MSFT , PFE , T

Schaeffer's Investment Research

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