Stocks Kick Off 2014 on a Sour Note

By
A A A

"There was weakness overnight in Europe, and domestic futures indicated lower prices at the open," noted Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell, CMT. "Despite a lack of major economic news, the markets slid, and had one of their biggest down days in weeks." Against this backdrop, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) suffered a triple-digit loss.

Continue reading for more on today's market, including :

plus...
    Weekly jobless claims fell to a four-week low, the ISM's manufacturing gauge exceeded expectations, and Apple Inc. ( AAPL ) was hit with some negative brokerage attention.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 16,441.35) faltered at the sound of the opening bell, and ended up closing 135.3 points, or 0.8%, lower on the day. The Dow's three advancers were led by Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. ( WMT ) -- which gained 0.3% -- while Du Pont (DD) and General Electric Company (GE) led the 27 decliners with losses of 1.9% each.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,831.98) also headed south right out of the gate, and ended the session with a loss of 16.4 points, or 0.9%. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,143.07) was off 33.5 points, or 0.8%, by the closing bell.

Elsewhere, the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 14.23) was parked in the black for the entire day, and finished 0.5 point, or 3.7%, higher.

CLOSING SUMMARY - INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY - NYSE AND NASDAQ

A Trader's Take :

"Despite a ton of weakness across the board, many solar stocks had a really nice day," Bell observed. "These names were among 2013's big leaders, and it was nice to see some of the momentum continue during such a weak session."

5 Items on Our Radar Today :

  1. The Labor Department said initial jobless claims fell by 2,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 339,000, marking their lowest level in a month. However, the four-week moving average for first-time filings climbed by 8,500 to 357,000. (MarketWatch)
  2. The Institute for Supply Management's (ISM) manufacturing index arrived at 57.0 in December -- slightly down from November's reading of 57.3. Nevertheless, the latest reading still exceeded consensus estimates. (NASDAQ)
  3. Apple Inc. ( AAPL ) was slapped with a bearish brokerage note at Wells Fargo ahead of the opening bell.
  4. Short-term option bulls -- or possibly hedging short sellers -- pounced on Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD) .
  5. JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) saw a surge in bearish options activity, as traders scooped up the stock's weekly puts.

For a look at today's options movers and commodities activity, head to page 2.

STOCKS - NOTABLE CALL ACTIVITY

STOCKS - NOTABLE PUT ACTIVITY

Commodities :

Crude futures were dragged lower today, amid a stronger dollar and reports of increased oil production in Libya. By the close, the February contract shed $2.98, or 3%, to end at $95.44 per barrel.

Meanwhile, gold futures jumped, thanks to news of an increase in physical buyers. February-dated gold climbed $22.90, or 1.9%, to finish at $1,225.20 an ounce.

SCHAEFFER'S MARKET POSTURE



The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized reproduction of any SIR publication is strictly prohibited.


This article appears in: Investing , Options

Referenced Stocks: AAPL , F , JCP , M , WMT

Schaeffer's Investment Research

Schaeffer's Investment Research
  • See all for Schaeffer's Investment Research
  • View Print Version

More from Schaeffer's Investment Research:

Related Videos

Stocks

Referenced

Most Active by Volume

48,099,947
  • $16.09 ▲ 0.50%
40,277,806
  • $102.50 ▲ 0.24%
40,236,499
  • $19.57 ▲ 2.35%
31,092,510
  • $49.75 ▲ 0.65%
30,795,218
  • $34.92 ▲ 0.78%
29,910,855
  • $3.63 ▲ 0.83%
24,019,154
  • $13.06 ▼ 0.38%
23,753,906
  • $74.82 ▲ 1.31%
As of 8/29/2014, 04:04 PM

Find a Credit Card

Select a credit card product by:
Select an offer:
Search
Data Provided by BankRate.com