Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
didn't venture far from breakeven today, staying within a 57-point
range. By the close, the blue-chip index settled slightly higher,
with a respectable gain for the week.
Continue reading for more on today's market, including
- Financial earnings start with a whimper, Oracle (
) achieves a new milestone, and today's Tweet of the day, which
offers one theory on Facebook's (
) upcoming mystery announcement.
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
spent a rather quiet day trading around the breakeven mark. The
index ended shy of the 13,500 level, up 17 points, or 0.1%. For the
week, the Dow closed 0.4% higher. Of the 30 Dow components, half of
them closed in positive territory, with Microsoft (
) in the lead with a 1.4% gain. At the back of the pack was the
Boeing (BA), which dropped 2.5%.
S&P 500 Index (SPX)
once again narrowly missed a new five-year high and actually closed
down a fraction on the day, shedding less than 0.1 point. The
Nasdaq Composite (COMP)
kept pace with the Dow, tacking on 4 points, or 0.1%. For the week,
the SPX added 0.4% and the COMP rallied 0.8%.
CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX)
continued its descent, closing off 0.1 point, or 1%. On a weekly
basis, the index dropped 3.4%.
3 Things to Know About Today's Market
- Wells Fargo (WFC) was the first of its peers to visit the
earnings confessional this morning, ahead of four high-profile
names that will report in the upcoming trading days. The results
were ultimately mixed. While fourth-quarter profit rose 24% to a
new record of 91 cents per share -- two pennies above
expectations -- a decline in mortgage lending proved to be a
Waterloo, resulting in a negative finish for the shares.
Investors were also troubled by a sequential slip in net interest
margin to 3.56% from 3.66%.
- U.S. import prices edged 0.1% lower in December on
month-over-month basis, the Labor Department reported today.
Economists were expecting an increase of 0.1% for the month.
Excluding petroleum, import prices posted a slim 0.1% gain both
for December and 2012 overall. Meanwhile, the Commerce Department
noted a 15.8% increase in the U.S. trade gap in November, taking
it to $48.73 billion. Economists were caught off guard, as they
had been expecting a drop in the reading to $41.2 billion.
- In retail-sector news, Best Buy (BBY) said holiday sales
slipped 0.4% to $12.8 billion on a year-over-year basis. The
virtually unchanged reading was a pleasant surprise to analysts,
who were looking for a decline from the electronics retailer.
Same-store sales, meanwhile, were flat domestically and down 6.4%
internationally (thanks to weakness in China and Canada), while
online sales in the U.S. grew by 10% to $1.1 billion. Putting it
mildly, the stock responded well to the news, zooming up 16.4% on
the day (and resulting in some
... Want to compliment Mark Zuckerberg for putting you back in
touch with your second-grade boyfriend (or ask what's on tap for
that big meeting on Tuesday)? For just $100, you can send a message
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) founder's in-box. This takes the recent concept of
for the right to message non-friends 99 steps further.
Today's Top Tweet
"Facebook to launch on Mars is the mystery announcement -
anything short will be disappointment at this point."
(Mark H), 10:51 a.m.
5 Stocks We Were Watching Today
- Option Idea of the Week:
looks poised to continue its recent trend higher.
- American Express (AXP) hit a new multi-year high, attracting
the attention of
- Oracle (
) traveled to its
since May 2011.
- Bullish Chevron (CVX) traders expect a
sharp move higher
in the coming months.
- Starbucks (SBUX) saw its
price target lifted
by $5 at UBS this morning.
Question of the Day
: What is a margin call?
: A margin call occurs when a trader is contacted (typically over
the phone) by his broker and instructed to deposit additional cash
or securities to cover anticipated or realized losses. It can also
happen if a trader's account value falls below a minimum threshold.
A margin call is nothing an investor ever wants to experience, and
it should be understood that it is a demand, not a request. If
investors are unable to come up with the cash or additional
securities, brokers have the right to liquidate positions in the
account to secure the capital.
For a look at today's options movers and commodities
activity, head to page 2.
Crude futures lost ground on Friday, with the February contract
slipping 26 cents, or 0.3%, to end the day at $93.56 per barrel.
For the week, oil advanced 0.5%. Likewise, gold futures turned in a
negative session, but a positive weekly performance. Gold for
February delivery lost $17.40, or 1%, to close at $1,660.60 per
ounce. On a weekly basis, the precious metal edged up 0.7%.
At the end of every market day, the staff at Schaeffer's
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