"Overall, today's rally was nice for a market that's been absent
much strength lately," noted Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe
Bell, CMT. "The S&P 500 Index (SPX) is now back above the 1,840
area, and small-caps and tech stocks are leading the way. Although
we've seen nice momentum, investors will be looking for some
continuation as the holiday-shortened week comes to a close
tomorrow." After spending most of the session with a triple-digit
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
settled at its intraday peak, extending its winning streak to three
Trading Topic of the Week
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Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 16,424.85)
skyrocketed out of the gate, and ultimately settled at its highest
point of the session, adding 162.3 points, or 1%. All but four of
the Dow's 30 components ended in the black, led by Visa Inc's (V)
2.6% gain. UnitedHealth Group Inc. (UNH) paced the three decliners,
shedding 1.7%, while McDonald's Corporation (MCD) finished
S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,862.31)
also ended at its intraday acme, advancing 19.3 points, or 1.1%, by
the close. Not to be outdone, the tech-rich
Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,086.23)
fared the best of its peers, rallying 52.1 points, or 1.3%, to
finish within a chip-shot of its session high.
CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 14.18)
declined for a third straight session, giving up 1.4 points, or
9.2%, by the close.
A Trader's Take
"Last night, big tech stocks like YHOO and INTC reported
earnings, and China issued its gross domestic product report,"
added Bell. "China's economic news met expectations, and overall
the tech sector showed outperformance today. While semiconductor
stocks were notable laggards, the biotechnology sector did the
heavy lifting today."
5 Items on Our Radar Today
- Yahoo! Inc. (
first-quarter earnings and revenue
that were better than analysts' projections. For the first time
in four quarters, the company secured an increase in some key
revenue areas. Traders also paid special attention to last
night's report, as it offered a
clue into Alibaba
, of which Yahoo! owns a hefty 24% stake. The Chinese e-commerce
concern -- which is preparing for its initial public offering
(IPO) -- booked a fiscal fourth-quarter profit of $1.4 billion,
more than doubling the previous year's results.
(The Washington Post; The New York Times)
- In a speech to the Economic Club of New York, Fed Chair Janet
Yellen opined that the U.S. economy could meet the central bank's
employment and inflation targets by the end of 2016. However, she
noted that the
risk of high inflation
remains "significantly below the chances of inflation persisting
below 2%," and said the Fed doesn't want to tighten monetary
policy too soon, which could be "very costly to reverse."
Fed's Beige Book
suggested economic activity improved in most of the country from
Feb. 24 to April 7, as harsh winter weather tapered off.
(USA Today; MarketWatch)
- Housing starts
increased by 2.8% last month
, with notable demand for single-family homes as the unseasonably
frigid winter drew to a close. Builders began construction on
946,000 homes during March, falling short of economists'
estimates. Applications for permits, meanwhile, dropped 2.4% in
(AP, via ABC News)
- Put buyers wagered on a post-earnings letdown from
Starbucks Corporation (SBUX)
, which recently breached a significant trendline on the
Intel Corporation (
scored a number of brokerage upgrades following its well received
first-quarter earnings report.
For a look at today's options movers and commodities
activity, head to page 2.
Oil futures finished slightly higher, as escalating tensions
between Russia and Ukraine overshadowed a steeper-than-expected
rise in weekly inventories. By the close, the May-dated contract
added a penny to settle at $103.76 per barrel.
Meanwhile, accommodative comments from Fed Chair Janet Yellen
helped June-dated gold advance $3.20, or 0.3%, to end at $1,303.50
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