"Earnings season really heated up today, with a lot of big names
reporting. For the most part, the results were pretty good," noted
Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell, CMT. "We were also
greeted with a decent GDP number for the fourth quarter, and we
made up most of yesterday's losses." The
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
bounced 110 points higher today, recovering more than half of
Trading Topic of the Week
Continue reading for more on today's market, including
-- Tips for Short-Term Trading:
Select your option carefully.
Consider your risk appetite and forecast for the stock when
choosing a strike and expiration date, since there's no room for
error when your trading time frame can be measured in hours.
Aside from a brief blip into negative territory, the
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 15,848.61)
traded above breakeven for the session, closing with a gain of
109.8 points, or 0.7%, erasing much of yesterday's 190-point
deficit. Nike Inc (
) paced the Dow's 25 advancing stocks with a gain of 3%, while The
Boeing Company (
) again brought up the rear, dropping 2.5% on the day.
S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,794.19)
reversed yesterday's losses -- and then some -- and inched into
positive territory for the week. By the close, the SPX had added 20
points, or 1.1%. Elsewhere, the
Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,123.13)
also undid Wednesday's pullback, settling on a gain of 71.7 points,
CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 17.29)
managed to hold above the 17 level, giving back 0.1 point, or 0.4%,
by the close.
A Trader's Take
"After all the turmoil with emerging markets and international
currencies, market volatility has certainly picked up without much
directional movement so far this week," Bell added. "Major market
indexes sit just above their December 2013 lows, but we are
starting to see signs of significant short-term pessimism
surrounding this market. These are similar fears that characterized
most pullbacks that occurred during the bull market over the past
couple of years. "
5 Items on Our Radar Today
- Strength in the mobile advertising department helped carry
Facebook Inc (
) fourth-quarter earnings and sales
well above analysts' expectations. The stock rallied into
uncharted territory in response.
gross domestic product (GDP) expanded
at a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 3.2% during the fourth
quarter of 2013, the Commerce Department reported. The reading,
which was bolstered by robust consumer spending, was in line with
economists' estimates. Elsewhere,
pending home sales
plunged in December -- hitting their lowest point since October
2011 -- amid historically cold temperatures. Year-over-year, the
reading slipped almost 9%.
(Reuters; Los Angeles Times)
Tesla Motors Inc (
speculators scooped up eleventh-hour bets ahead of remarks from
CEO Elon Musk.
- A broad rally in the social media sector sent
Twitter Inc (TWTR)
solidly higher, prompting some weekly call buying activity.
- Following its fiscal first-quarter earnings report,
QUALCOMM, Inc. (QCOM)
attracted positive brokerage attention, including two
For a look at today's options movers and commodities
activity, head to page 2.
Crude futures rose to a year-to-date high, as investors were
cheered by the latest GDP reading. By the close, March crude
futures had added 87 cents, or 0.9%, to rest at $98.23 per
spiraled lower amid rising stocks and a stronger dollar. Gold for
April delivery dropped $19.70, or 1.6%, to settle at $1,242.50 an
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