Stocks Close South of Breakeven, but Make Headway for the Week

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"We ended this holiday-shortened week in a very quiet fashion, with the market not doing much of anything," observed Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell, CMT. "After a strong bounce late last week that carried into this week, we saw the momentum stall, and the market take a bit of a breather. With no major economic or earnings reports released, there wasn't too much to drive the market either way." Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) , S&P 500 Index (SPX), and Nasdaq Composite (COMP) all notched solid weekly gains.

Continue reading for more on today's market, including :

plus...
    Herbalife Ltd. ( HLF ) received a vote of confidence from the brokerage bunch, Facebook Inc ( FB ) saw a surge in January call activity, and put players targeted Exxon Mobil Corporation ( XOM ) .

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 16,478.41) shot higher out of the gate -- reaching an all-time intraday peak of 16,529.01 within the first five minutes of the session -- but ended 1.5 points, or 0.01%, lower on the day. For the week, however, the blue-chip bellwether added 1.6%. The Dow's 14 advancers were led by Cisco Systems, Inc.'s ( CSCO ) 1% gain, while The Boeing Company (BA) paced the 14 laggards with a loss of 1%. General Electric Company (GE) and E I Du Pont De Nemours And Co (DD) remained unchanged.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,841.40) also touched a record intraday peak, hitting 1,844.89 shortly after the opening bell, but finished with a slight loss of 0.6 point, or 0.03%. Meanwhile, although the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,156.59) tagged a 13-year intraday high of 4,175.36, it shed 10.6 points, or 0.3%, for the session. On a weekly basis, the indexes each tacked on 1.3%.

Elsewhere, the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 12.46) spent most of the day in the green, and was 0.1 point, or 1.1%, higher by the closing bell. Week-over-week, the "fear barometer" dropped 9.6%.

CLOSING SUMMARY - INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY - NYSE AND NASDAQ

A Trader's Take :

"Although the day was pretty slow and uneventful, let us not forgot how strong the market has been over the past several trading days," said Bell. "The Dow had six consecutive positive days, and the SPX was positive in four of the last six days."

5 Items on Our Radar Today :

  1. Herbalife Ltd. ( HLF ) scored an upward price-target adjustment at Wedbush Securities ahead of the opening bell.
  2. One group of option bears wagered on new highs for Facebook Inc ( FB ) by scooping up January-dated calls.
  3. Short interest surged on uptrending Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB) , but the stock could benefit from an unwinding of this skepticism.
  4. QUALCOMM, Inc. (QCOM) continues to attract bearish speculators, despite the stock's gains over the past several months.
  5. Put players descended upon Exxon Mobil Corporation ( XOM ) in droves, with a particular focus on front-month options.

For a look at today's options movers and commodities activity, head to page 2.

STOCKS - NOTABLE CALL ACTIVITY

STOCKS - NOTABLE PUT ACTIVITY

Commodities :

Crude futures finished higher today, after the U.S. Energy Information Administration revealed a larger-than-anticipated drop in oil supplies. The February contract advanced 77 cents, or 0.8%, to end at $100.32 per barrel. For the week, crude futures climbed 1%.

Meanwhile, gold futures also closed in the black, with February-dated gold rising $1.70, or 0.1%, to settle at $1,214 an ounce. On a weekly basis, the precious metal gained 0.9%.

SCHAEFFER'S MARKET POSTURE



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.

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This article appears in: Investing , Options

Referenced Stocks: CSCO , FB , HLF , MCD , XOM

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