"What a wild ride to end the week," exclaimed Schaeffer's Senior
Technical Strategist Ryan Detrick, CMT. "Everything was great, and
we had new highs pretty much across the board. Then news of
continued tensions between Russia and Ukraine hit the wires and
sent stocks tanking. After some more wild gyrations, we closed
mixed on the day." The
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
visited negative territory briefly this afternoon before closing
well off its intraday high.
Continue reading for more on today's market, including
... Consumer sentiment improves, Questcor Pharmaceuticals Inc's (
) backslide continues, and Facebook Inc (
) sees active trading in the front-month series.
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 16,321.71)
bounced from a late-afternoon dip into negative territory to close
49.1 points, or 0.3%, higher on the day. While still in negative
territory on a year-to-date basis, the Dow gained 1.4% during the
past week, and added 4% for the month. UnitedHealth Group Inc.
(UNH) rose 1.6% to lead the Dow's 21 advancers, while AT&T Inc.
(T) paced the eight decliners with a 0.9% drop. Intel Corporation (
) was unchanged today.
S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,859.45)
gained 5.2 points, or 0.3%, to close at another new record high.
The index also tagged a new all-time intraday peak of 1,867.92.
Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,308.12)
registered another near-14-year intraday high of 4,342.59, but
ended up in the red, down 10.8 points, or 0.3%. The SPX gained 1.3%
for the week and 4.3% for the month; the COMP added 1% this week
and 5% in February.
CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 14.00)
moved slightly lower on the day, giving back 0.04 point, or 0.3%,
to end squarely at the 14 level. The VIX dropped 4.6% this past
week and gave back 24% in February.
A Trader's Take
"February is over, and it was a great month," Detrick
summarized. "Funny how four weeks ago all the chatter was about how
emerging markets would crash and take down global stock markets
along with them. Yeah, about that ... we made new all-time highs on
the SPX by the end of the month. Looking out, March is historically
one of the stronger months, especially after a strong February.
Remember, February is usually weak."
5 Items on Our Radar Today
- The latest
gross domestic product (GDP) estimate
showed a 2.4% expansion in the U.S. economy for the fourth
quarter of 2013. This was roughly in line with economists'
estimates, but reflected a notable drop from the 3.2% growth pace
projected last month. In the third quarter of last year, the GDP
grew by 4.1%. The Chicago purchasing managers index
edged up to 59.8 this month
from 59.6 in January, securing its first increase since October.
The reading exceeded economists' estimates.
(Reuters; FOX Business)
- The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan index tracking
rose to 81.6 to wrap up the month, building slightly on January's
reading of 81.2. Economists were expecting the measure to hold
steady with the preliminary forecast, which was unchanged from
the previous month at 81.2.
Questcor Pharmaceuticals Inc (
continues its post-earnings tumble, option bears have kept piling
- Two different varieties of
Facebook Inc (
options traders set their sights on a pair of front-month
Option Idea of the Week
Marvell Technology Group Ltd. (MRVL)
could continue to rally.
For a look at today's options movers and commodities
activity, head to page 2.
Crude oil inched higher in Friday's trading amid rising energy
demand. The April contract settled up 19 cents, or 0.2%, at $102.59
per barrel. Week-over-week, crude edged up 0.4%, and gained 5.2% in
Gold futures moved lower in Friday's session, as investors
responded favorably to a slew of economic reports. By the close,
April-dated gold was off $10.20, or 0.8%, at $1,321.60 an ounce.
The precious metal edged 0.2% lower for the week, but gained nearly
6.6% on a monthly basis, when comparing most-active contracts.
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