Stocks End the Week With Solid Gains; S&P 500 Posts Best Week Since July


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"We had a pretty decent jobless claims report this morning and mixed earnings results across the board. Overall, the market didn't make much of a move in either direction after a lot of intraday whipsaw action," summarized Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell, CMT. "On a day without much movement, it was nice to see small-caps and high-beta technology stocks assume a bit of a leadership role. After a tough first couple of weeks in April, it was encouraging to see a little strength going into the holiday weekend." The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) ended with a modest loss -- but closed the week solidly higher -- while the S&P 500 Index (SPX) rallied to its best weekly finish since July.

Continue reading for more on today's market, including :

Trading Topic of the Week -- Tips for Short-Term Trading: Select your option carefully . Consider your risk appetite and forecast for the stock when choosing a strike and expiration date, since there's no room for error when your trading time frame can be measured in hours.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 16,408.54) snapped its three-day winning streak by a narrow margin, but closed 2.4% higher for the week. At today's close, the index was down 16.3 points, or 0.1%, after spending time on both sides of breakeven. Leading the Dow's 19 advancers was General Electric Company (GE), up 1.7% today. Pacing the 11 decliners was International Business Machines Corp. (IBM), which slipped 3.3% following its earnings news.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,864.85) settled higher on the day, adding 2.5 points, or 0.1%. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,095.52) , meanwhile, rose 9.3 points, or 0.2%. Week-over-week, the SPX rallied 2.7% -- erasing last week's 2.6% drop -- while the COMP advanced 2.4%.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 13.36) continued to falter, losing 0.8 point, or 5.8%. The market's "fear gauge" closed south of the 13.50 mark for the first time since April 3. Week-over-week, the VIX dropped 21.6%.



5 Items on Our Radar Today :

  1. First-time unemployment filings ticked higher by 2,000 during the week ended April 12, reaching a seasonally adjusted 304,000 to come in south of economists' expectations . What's more, the four-week moving average -- which smoothes out week-over-week "noise" -- reached 312,000, or the lowest since October 2007. (USA Today)
  2. GOOGL shares took a tumble after the web giant's first-quarter earnings and sales came in south of analysts' expectations. One data point that concerned Google watchers was the amount of payments from marketers per ad on Google sites, which slipped 9%. (CNN Money)
  3. The Philadelphia Fed reported that its business activity index for April rose to 16.6 from 9.0 the previous month, exceeding economists' estimates. Readings north of zero reflect expansion in the mid-Atlantic region. (CNBC)
  4. See how Sirius XM Holdings Inc. ( SIRI ) speculators are taking advantage of high options premiums.
  5. Zynga Inc ( ZNGA ) option bulls bet big on a post-earnings jump.


For a look at today's options movers and commodities activity, head to page 2.



Commodities :

Oil futures edged higher today, amid continued uncertainty in Ukraine and heightened expectations for energy demand. Crude for May delivery rose 54 cents, or 0.5%, to a six-plus-week high of $104.30 per barrel. Week-over-week, oil added 0.5%.

Stronger-than-expected domestic data and continued strength in equities dimmed gold's safe-haven appeal, sending futures lower. By the close, the June contract had given back $9.60, or 0.7%, to $1,293.90 an ounce, a two-week low. Since last Friday, the contract has slipped 1.9%.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized reproduction of any SIR publication is strictly prohibited.

This article appears in: Investing Options
Referenced Stocks: GOOGL , WMT , YHOO , SIRI , ZNGA

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