"Here's the easiest way to sum up today -- buyers in the
morning, sellers in the afternoon," quipped Schaeffer's Senior
Technical Strategist Ryan Detrick, CMT. "In the end, and with many
other global markets closed for May Day, it was a slow day on light
volume. The S&P 500 Index (SPX) continues to
flirt with the 1,880 area
, but it just can't get a clear break above it yet." The
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
, meanwhile, spent much of the session south of breakeven and
closed with a modest loss.
Trading Topic of the Week
Continue reading for more on today's market, including
-- Tips to Trade Like the Pros:
Develop a healthy sense of skepticism
. There's no need to be a knee-jerk cynic, but it certainly pays to
be wary of "hot tips" and "sure things" -- no matter where they
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 16,558.87)
was confined to an 80-point range today, spending time both in
positive and negative territory, but ultimately closed with a
22-point, or 0.1%, loss. Pacing the Dow's 23 decliners today was
International Business Machines Corp. (
), which lost 1.5%. Leading the seven advancers, meanwhile, was
Merck & Co., Inc. (
), up 1.8% today.
S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,883.68)
fought hard into the close, but settled on a loss of 0.3 point, or
less than 0.1%. Meanwhile, the
Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,127.45)
outperformed its index peers, gaining 12.9 points, or 0.3%.
CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 13.25)
stumbled further on the day, giving back 0.2 point, or 1.2%, by the
A Trader's Take
"Usually, the day after the Fed policy statement will see a big
move in the other direction," added Detrick. "Given we bounced
Wednesday after the Fed, today's action was more constructive, as
most of the losses were muted. Still, with most of the world on
holiday and the monthly jobs data due out tomorrow -- today was a
catch-your-breath type of day."
5 Items on Our Radar Today
- According to the Labor Department,
weekly jobless claims
increased by 14,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 344,000.
Economists had expected first-time applications for unemployment
benefits to fall to 319,000.
Consumer spending in March
spiked by a seasonally adjusted 0.9% from the previous month (the
fastest rate since August 2009), while personal income rose by
0.5%, the Commerce Department said. Economists had projected more
modest month-over-month increases of 0.7% and 0.4% for personal
consumption and income, respectively.
- The New York Stock Exchange and several affiliates were
fined $4.5 million
by the Securities and Exchange Commission for alleged trading
rule violations. The exchange agreed to settle the charges, but
neither admitted nor denied guilt.
- Meanwhile, option bears descended on
Twitter Inc (TWTR)
in the hopes of continued post-earnings struggles.
- Conversely, ahead of
First Solar, Inc.'s (
turn in the earnings confessional next Tuesday, option traders
placed bullish bets.
For a look at today's options movers and commodities
activity, head to page 2.
Oil futures edged lower for the second day in a row, amid
disappointing economic data and record crude supplies. By day's
end, June-dated crude was off 32 cents, or 0.3%, at $99.42 a barrel
-- a five-week low.
Gold futures slipped to their lowest level in over a week,
pressured lower by a pop in consumer spending and income, and
general caution ahead of tomorrow's nonfarm payrolls report for
April. For the session, gold for June delivery dropped $12.50, or
1%, to end the session at $1,283.40 an ounce.