"We really didn't digest any major economic data today, but
there were a lot of participants rushing for the exits, and it
seemed like simple profit taking," observed Schaeffer's Senior
Equity Analyst Joe Bell, CMT. "Elsewhere, there was some big news
from Washington, as congressional leaders agreed on a two-year
budget plan that now needs approval from the House of
Representatives and Senate." Meanwhile, as renewed tapering
anxieties remained intact, the
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
extended yesterday's losses.
Continue reading for more on today's market, including
The White House may have a vice chair nominee for the Fed,
MasterCard Inc (
) announced its first-ever stock split, and Groupon Inc (
) received a vote of confidence from the brokerage bunch.
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 15,843.53)
spent most of the day in negative territory, and was off 129.6
points, or 0.8%, by the closing bell. The blue-chip bellwether's
five advancers were led by Visa Inc's (
) 3.1% gain, while a 3% drop for Nike Inc (NKE) paced the 25
S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,782.22)
was also parked in negative territory today, and finished 20.4
points, or 1.1%, lower. Meanwhile, the
Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,003.81)
fell 56.7 points, or 1.4%, for the session.
CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 15.42)
tagged an intraday peak of 15.43 just ahead of the close, and added
1.5 points, or 10.9%, on the day.
A Trader's Take
"Tech stocks actually performed pretty well today, but one
notable bright spot was MasterCard Inc (
), thanks to its slew of good news this morning," Bell continued.
"The company announced a stock split, increased its quarterly
dividend, and announced a repurchase plan."
3 Things to Know About Today's Market
- Congressional lawmakers
reached a two-year bipartisan budget deal
last night that could help stabilize the government and avoid
another shutdown in January, but the proposal has already been
met with some opposition. However, Senator Patty Murray
(D-Washington), chairwoman of the Senate Budget Committee, noted
that "because of this deal, the budget process can now stop
lurching from crisis to crisis." The House of Representatives is
expected to vote on the proposal this week.
(Los Angeles Times)
- According to inside sources, the White House is close to
Stanley Fischer as vice chairman of the Fed
. The former Bank of Israel Governor also served as a professor
at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and counts Fed Chairman
Ben Bernanke and European Central Bank President Mario Draghi
among his students.
- MasterCard Inc (
) hit a record high during today's session, following news that
the credit card giant
is splitting its stock
for the first time since its initial public offering in May 2006.
In addition to the 10-for-1 split, the company also lifted its
quarterly dividend by 83%.
(Associated Press via USA Today)
5 Stocks We Were Watching Today
Groupon Inc (
scored a bullish brokerage note at Wells Fargo ahead of this
morning's opening bell.
- Bullish bettors rolled the dice on
Cisco Systems, Inc. (CSCO)
, despite some negative analyst attention in pre-market
Ford Motor Company (F)
attracted near-term call players, amid hopes that the automaker
will report strong December sales.
- Option bears targeted
Ciena Corporation (CIEN)
to wager on a post-earnings slide for the networking equipment
J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (JCP)
speculators bet on a short-term ceiling for the struggling
retailer by selling to open weekly call options.
For a look at today's options movers and commodities
activity, head to page 2.
Crude futures drifted lower today, as a notable rise in U.S.
gasoline supplies weighed on oil prices. By the closing bell, the
January contract declined $1.07, or 1.1%, to finish at $97.44 per
Gold futures also closed in the red, as a congressional budget
deal tarnished the malleable metal's safe-haven appeal.
February-dated gold shed $3.90, or 0.3%, settling at $1,257.20 an
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