"The bulls enjoyed two straight days of gains, with another
strong session in the books after last week's 2% drop," observed
Schaeffer's Senior Technical Strategist Ryan Detrick, CMT. "Most
impressive was that small-caps had a big day under the surface,
after lagging somewhat yesterday. In the end, the Russell 2000
Index (RUT) and S&P 500 Index (SPX) finished just about one
good day shy of new all-time highs, and it's tough to argue with
that. One of the criticisms of the recent bounce is that it has
occurred on light volume. While this is 100% true, we've also heard
that argument many times during the past few years, and it hasn't
slowed the bull market down yet." The
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
traded on the positive side of the tape all day and closed back
atop its 10-day moving average.
Continue reading for more on today's market, including
Trading Topic of the Week
- Visa Inc (
), Nike Inc (
), and Goldman Sachs Group Inc (
): A look back at the
newest members of the Dow elite
- This trio of active stocks saw
unusual call volume
in the options pits today.
Up more than 500% in the last 12 months
, Apple Inc. (
) partner GT Advanced Technologies Inc. (
) has been targeted by bullish option traders in recent
... Russian President Vladimir Putin had good news and bad news,
consumer prices ticked higher, and Microsoft Corporation (MSFT)
enjoyed a price-target hike amid a big rumor.
-- How to Get Started with Options:
Learn how options pricing works
. Options pricing isn't rocket science, but it's not quite as
straightforward as stocks (implied volatility, anyone?).
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 16,336.19)
spent the day in the green, closing up 89 points, or 0.6%, to
finish above its 10-day moving average following four sessions
below this trendline. Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) led the Dow's 27
advancers with a gain of 3.9%. The Boeing Company (BA) paced the
index's three decliners, shedding 1.1% on the day.
S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,872.25)
also gained ground, closing up 13.4 points, or 0.7%. The
Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,333.31)
outperformed its index peers, tacking on 53.4 points, or 1.3%.
CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 14.52)
continued to move lower, closing with a loss of 1.1 points, or
7.2%. This week alone, the "fear gauge" has given back 18.5%.
A Trader's Take
"I do find it interesting that buyers have been relatively
aggressive ahead of the Fed," added Detrick. "With the central bank
set to announce its decision on interest rates and where
quantitative easing plans are headed, be on the lookout for some
volatility tomorrow afternoon."
5 Items on Our Radar Today
- Russian President Vladimir Putin opted to defy Western wishes
and face sanctions,
signing a treaty
that would make Crimea part of the Russian Federation. But in a
bit of relieving news, he also told his nation's parliament that
he had no interest in annexing other sections of Ukraine.
Housing starts were little changed
in February, slipping 0.2% to come in roughly in line with
economists' estimates. Building permits spiked 7.7% higher in
February, thanks to escalating strength in the multi-family
housing segment. The consumer price index (CPI), meanwhile,
edged 0.1% higher last month
-- in line with expectations -- as food prices posted their
sharpest monthly gain in over two years. Excluding food and
energy costs, the core CPI ticked 0.1% higher as well.
(USA Today; MarketWatch)
- Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (WMT) announced plans to
buy back used video games
in exchange for store credit. The service will launch on March 26
in 3,100 locations across the U.S. In response, GameStop Corp.
(GME) shares shed roughly 3.4% on the day.
(The New York Times)
- It was a good day for
Microsoft Corporation (MSFT)
, which earned an upgrade amid rumors that the Seattle software
giant's Office suite was coming to the Apple Inc. (
) iPad later this month.
Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NOK)
was targeted by put buyers betting on a pullback to year-to-date
For a look at today's options movers and commodities
activity, head to page 2.
Crude oil swung higher in Tuesday's session, ahead of tomorrow's
inventories report and the Federal Reserve's interest-rate
decision. By the close, April oil futures were up $1.62, or 1.7%,
to end the session at $99.70 per barrel.
Gold futures continued to lose ground today, settling at their
lowest level in a week as concerns about the Ukraine situation
continued to ease. The April-dated contract slipped $13.90, or 1%,
to $1,359 an ounce.
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