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
directly to the Facebook (
) 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
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.