"In what is historically a very bearish week -- the week after
September options expiration -- the first day started off in the
red," observed Schaeffer's Senior Technical Strategist Ryan
Detrick, CMT. "After the bloodbath on Friday, it was nice to see we
didn't have a huge continuation of that. Still, the big worry is
that financials are really lagging here, and they could pull the
entire market lower, should they continue to underperform." Against
this backdrop, the
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
closed south of breakeven for the third consecutive session.
Continue reading for more on today's market, including
Two Fed officials offered downbeat opinions of the economy,
) received a buyout offer from a Canadian insurance firm, and Nokia
) scored some positive analyst attention.
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 15,401.38)
fell right out of the gate today, sinking to a session low of
15,368.25 just after 11:00 a.m. ET. By the close, the index was off
49.7 points, or 0.3%. The blue-chip bellwether's 11 advancers were
led by UnitedHealth Group's (
) 1.8% gain, while newly minted Dow component Goldman Sachs (
) paced the 19 decliners with a drop of 2.7%.
S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,701.84)
also dropped at the start of the session, and tagged an intraday
low of 1,697.10 this morning. By the end, the index was down 8.1
points, or 0.5%, holding above the key 1,700 level. Meanwhile, the
Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 3,765.29)
fell 9.4 points, or 0.3%.
CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 14.31)
spiked after the opening bell, and finished 1.2 points, or 9.1%,
A Trader's Take
"Small-caps held up well on a relative basis, which was one
bright spot," continued Detrick. "Historically, the end of
September has been weak, and as we head into earnings season in a
few weeks, expect to see some choppy price action. The Fed has said
what they are going to say, and it is now up to the economy to show
some type of a pulse."
3 Things to Know About Today's Market
- A pair of Fed officials offered up a
lackluster view of the economy
today, on the heels of last week's no-taper decision by the
central bank. During a speech at Fordham University, New York Fed
President William Dudley noted that while the economy is
gradually improving, it "still needs the support of a very
accommodative monetary policy." Meanwhile, in comments delivered
to the Louise Blouin Foundation, Atlanta Fed President Dennis
Lockhart said that the economy may have lost its spark. "Is
America losing its economic mojo? There is some evidence to the
affirmative," he opined.
- The wait is over. BlackBerry (
) is being
acquired by Canadian-based insurance firm Fairfax
in a deal worth $4.7 billion, which values the shares at $9 each.
BBRY trading was halted just before the announcement, and then
resumed again at 2:00 p.m. EST. Fairfax -- also known as the
"Berkshire Hathaway of Canada" -- is the mobile phone maker's
- Markit said its
flash purchasing managers index (PMI)
arrived at 52.8 this month, compared to an August reading of 53.1
-- marking a decline in U.S. factory activity. Breaking the
numbers down further, the employment sub-index dropped to a
three-month low of 51.4, versus last month's reading of 53.1.
5 Stocks We Were Watching Today
received some bullish brokerage attention at HSBC.
- A new multi-year high for
Sirius XM Radio (SIRI)
didn't deter longer-term option bears.
- One pessimistic strategist constructed a long put spread on
using November-dated options.
- Bearish option activity has accelerated on
Marvell Technology Group (MRVL)
, despite year-to-date gains.
- A near-term put seller wagered on support for
at the $50 mark.
For a look at today's options movers and commodities
activity, head to page 2.
Crude futures dropped for a third straight session, as tensions
regarding supplies in the Middle East continue to ease. By the time
the dust settled, November-dated oil declined $1.16, or 1.1%, to
end at $103.59 per barrel -- the lowest close for a front-month
contract since early August.
Meanwhile, gold futures narrowed earlier losses triggered by
negative forecasts from Citigroup and Morgan Stanley, thanks to an
upbeat manufacturing report out of China. However, the precious
metal still closed slightly in the red for the session. Gold for
December delivery slipped $5.50, or 0.4%, to finish at $1,327 an
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