"Volatility and mixed price action continue, but we had another
strong Tuesday today," noted Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe
Bell, CMT. "Coming into today, 15 of the last 17 Tuesdays have been
positive, and today did not disappoint. Amid slightly
worse-than-expected consumer confidence data, it was nice to see
technology stocks show some strength after weeks of outperformance.
Biotech, in particular, was among the top performers, and helped
lift the sector as a whole." The
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
was in positive territory the entire day -- a change from Monday's
tumultuous session -- and closed within 100 points of its all-time
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Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 16,535.37)
continued to move higher in Tuesday's trading, closing up 86.6
points, or 0.5%. Merck & Co., Inc. (
) rallied 3.6% on earnings news to lead the Dow's 20 advancers. The
Coca-Cola Company (
), meanwhile, brought up the rear, shedding 1.1% despite a
positive brokerage initiation
S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,878.33)
, also moved higher, tacking on 8.9 points, or 0.5%, to approach
the critical 1,880 level. The
Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,103.54)
outperformed, rallying 29.1 points, or 0.7%.
CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 13.71)
retreated further south of the 14 level, giving back 0.3 point, or
1.8%, on the day.
5 Items on Our Radar Today
Consumer confidence in the U.S.
slipped this month, said the Conference Board, with the index's
pullback to 82.3 falling short of economists' estimates. On the
bright side, it was the second-highest reading of the last six
years. The expectations index inched higher from March, while the
present situation index suffered a modest dip. Elsewhere, the
S&P/Case-Shiller home price index edged 0.8% higher in
February, coming in north of expectations.
- Merck earnings results were
mixed for the first quarter
, as per-share profit exceeded analysts' consensus view by a
healthy margin, but revenue fell just short of the mark. The
pharmaceutical name reiterated full-year earnings expectations of
$3.35 to $3.53 per share. On the news, the stock gained 3.6% on
the day and notched its highest intraday price since January
(Reuters, via CNBC)
Yelp Inc (
) and Barrick Gold Corporation (USA) (ABX)
are among the names heading to the earnings confessional on
Facebook Inc (
option bulls wagered on short-term gains in the social-networking
- Ahead of its second-ever earnings report tonight,
Twitter Inc (TWTR)
saw elevated options activity, with traders focusing on
For a look at today's options movers and commodities
activity, head to page 2.
Oil futures continued to gain ground today, with traders
weighing the situation in Ukraine against concerns ahead of
tomorrow's U.S. crude inventories report. The June contract added
44 cents, or 0.4%, to close at $101.28 per barrel.
Gold futures, meanwhile, continued to backpedal, as U.S.
equities moved higher on the day. Gold for June delivery lost
$2.70, or 0.2%, to settle the session at $1,296.30 an ounce.