"The market has slowly churned higher and continues to remain in
a steady uptrend," said Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell.
"The tech sector was a notable laggard today, though, after the
International Data Corporation reported a big decline in
first-quarter PC shipments." Despite this weak corner of the
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
was able to post yet another record high and trade above the
breakeven mark for most of the day.
Continue reading for more on today's market, including
- The S&P 500 gets
to 1,600, jobless claims surprise economists, and Tesla Motors (
) speculators may be changing their tune.
Dow Jones Industrial Average
achieved another new all-time record today, reaching as high as
14,887.51 before settling at 14,865.14. For the day, the blue-chip
index added 63 points, or 0.4%. Of the Dow's 30 components, 25
closed higher, with Pfizer (
) topping the charts with a gain of 2.4%. Severely lagging the pack
were PC names Hewlett-Packard (
) and Microsoft (
), which lost 6.5% and 4.4%, respectively.
It was another new high for the
S&P 500 Index (SPX)
as well, which gained 5.6 points on the day, or 0.4%, to close at
1,593.37, not far from its intraday peak of 1,597.35. The
Nasdaq Composite (COMP)
lagged its peers, up just 2.9 points, or less than 0.1%, to settle
at 3,300.16. Despite the weakness in the PC sector, the COMP did
manage to notch another 12-year high of 3,306.95 on the day.
CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX)
declined, losing 0.1 point, or 1%, to close at 12.24 and bring its
losing streak to four sessions.
A Trader's Take
"This morning, the weekly jobless claims number came in better
than expected and repositioned itself back below the 350,000 level
we had grown accustomed to," summarized Bell. "Consumer
discretionary and retail stocks performed quite well today, and
retailers should take the headlines tomorrow, as March retail sales
are set to be released."
3 Things to Know About Today's Market
- Initial jobless claims
dropped by 42,000
last week to a seasonally adjusted 346,000. This not only topped
economists' projections by a healthy margin, but it marked the
sharpest decline in the figure in roughly five months.
- The computer hardware sector was not a fun place to be today,
as names such as Hewlett-Packard Company (
) declined sharply following
about PC shipments. Sales dropped almost 14% last quarter (on a
year-over-year basis), marking the worst decline since tracking
began in 1994.
- Former KPMG partner Scott London and his friend are facing
from the Security Exchange Commission (SEC). London apparently
disclosed private information about publicly held companies
including Herbalife (HLF), in exchange for lavish gifts.
5 Stocks We Were Watching Today
- Sirius XM Radio (SIRI) speculators targeted
- Call buying has been an
increasingly popular strategy
in the Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) options pits.
- Are bulls beginning to
from Tesla Motors (
- Microsoft Corporation (
in the wake of the lackluster PC sales news.
- Reacting to this same news,
short-term put buyers
targeted Hewlett-Packard (
For a look at today's options movers and commodities
activity, head to page 2.
Oil settled lower today, snapping its three-day winning streak
after the International Energy Agency lowered its demand forecast.
By the close, May-dated crude futures had given back $1.13, or
1.2%, to finish at $93.51 per barrel.
Gold bounced higher after Wednesday's drubbing, due in part to a
weakened U.S. dollar. June gold closed up $6.10, or 0.4%, at
$1,564.90 per ounce.
At the end of every market day, the staff at Schaeffer's
Investment Research reviews the trading day in detail, covering
major events and key market developments. Don't miss this
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