"The major markets were mostly lower today, as we began the
first full week of trading now that all of the big holidays are in
the rearview mirror," observed Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst
Joe Bell, CMT. "The ISM non-manufacturing index came in worse than
expected, and November factory orders were right in line with
consensus estimates. Although these might not have been major
market drivers, they certainly didn't do much to curb the early
negative momentum." As such, the
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
closed south of breakeven.
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Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 16,425.10)
was parked in the red for most of the session, and was off nearly
45 points, or 0.3%, by the closing bell. The blue-chip index's 11
advancers were led by Goldman Sachs Group Inc (
) -- which gained 0.7% -- while Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) led
the 19 decliners with a loss of 2.1%.
S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,826.77)
mimicked the path of the Dow, and shed 4.6 points, or 0.3%, for the
day. Meanwhile, the
Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,113.68)
dropped 18.2 points, or 0.4%.
Aside from a few blips higher, the
CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 13.55)
spent most of the day south of breakeven, and finished 0.2 point,
or 1.5%, lower.
A Trader's Take
"This is the first time in several weeks that the Dow has been
down two days in a row," remarked Bell. "Much of the early selling
was met with buying though, as many sectors finished well off their
lows. The low-volatility uptrend that this market has been in is
just incredible, so a little volatility and even a slight pullback
has to be expected at some point."
5 Items on Our Radar Today
- The Institute for Supply Management's (ISM)
arrived at 53.0 in December, down from November's reading of
53.9. The latest reading also marked a six-month low for the
index, and defied economists' expectations for a rise to 54.5.
(Reuters via CNBC)
- The Commerce Department said
climbed 1.8% in November, compared to a 0.5% decline in the month
prior. The recent increase -- which drove the index to a record
high -- was largely due to a 21.8% spike in aircraft orders.
Apple Inc. (AAPL)
was slapped with a rare bearish brokerage note at Standpoint
Research ahead of the opening bell.
- News of a buyout bid drove call players to
Sirius XM Holdings Inc. (
, with speculators betting on multi-month highs for the
BlackBerry Ltd (BBRY)
saw a jump in weekly call buying, after the firm said it hired a
former Sony Ericsson executive.
For a look at today's options movers and commodities
activity, head to page 2.
Crude futures declined yet again today, as the possibility of
increased oil production in Libya triggered supply concerns. By the
closing bell, the February contract shaved off 53 cents, or 0.6%,
to settle at $93.43 per barrel -- marking the lowest closing price
of a most active contract since late November.
Meanwhile, gold futures finished lower following a "flash crash"
earlier in the session, with February-dated gold losing 60 cents,
or 0.1%, to end at $1,238 an ounce.