"We had a little bit of economic data released this morning, but
overall these reports did little to move the market one way or the
other," noted Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell, CMT.
"Most major sectors were met with early selling, but by the end of
the day, some participants bought the dip once again, and we
finished off the intraday lows." After dancing around the 16,000
level for much of the session, the
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
ended back south of this millennium mark.
Continue reading for more on today's market, including
Budget talks reach fever pitch, the Volcker Rule gets federal
clearance, and Twitter Inc (
) options get pricier.
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 15,973.13)
traded below the breakeven level for nearly all of the session once
again, closing down 52.4 points, or 0.3%. Seven of the 30 Dow names
finished higher, led by Goldman Sachs Group Inc (
), which added 1.2%. Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) paced the 23
decliners with its 1.5% loss.
S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,802.62)
also fell, shedding 5.8 points, or 0.3%. Unlike the Dow, however,
the SPX maintained its hold above its own round-number level --
Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,060.49)
slipped 8.3 points, or 0.2%, on the day.
CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 13.91)
hit an intraday high of 14.22 before closing up 0.4 point, or
A Trader's Take
"Despite the overall broad-market weakness, there were pockets
of strength today," Bell added. "It seemed like many of the
momentum names and high-flyers disconnected themselves from the
major indices and finished with some decent gains. Solar energy
companies, basic materials, and gold miners were all among the
3 Things to Know About Today's Market
- Budget negotiations heated up in Washington, as lawmakers
face a Friday deadline to
sidestep another government shutdown
on Jan. 15. Leaders from both sides of the aisle are in talks to
reach a two-year deal that sources indicate could include the
deferral of some automatic spending cuts.
(Reuters, via CNBC)
- Five federal agencies unanimously approved
implementation of the Volcker Rule
, which prevents financial institutions from most types of
proprietary trading activities. In response, President Barack
Obama noted, "our financial system will be safer and the American
people are more secure" with the rule in place.
- Mary Barra will become the
next chief executive officer
for General Motors Company (
), replacing outgoing CEO Dan Akerson in mid-January. Barra will
be the first female head of a major automaker.
5 Stocks We Were Watching Today
Facebook Inc (FB)
retook the $50 level and was flooded by bullish options
Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD)
attracted a slew of option bulls ... or were they short sellers
looking to hedge?
Twitter Inc (
option prices are rising, but that hasn't stopped speculators
from trading them.
- Good news from a late-stage clinical trial sent call
speculators into the
AbbVie Inc (ABBV)
- One wonders why controversial
Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (ANF)
Chairman and CEO Michael S. Jeffries was offered an extension on
For a look at today's options movers and commodities
activity, head to page 2.
Crude futures accelerated to their highest close since late
October, amid expectations that weekly reports will reveal a
further decline in crude supplies. By the close, January-dated
futures had added $1.17, or 1.2%, to end at $98.51 per barrel.
Gold futures also rose, notching a three-week high as traders
continued to speculate about when the Federal Reserve will begin
tapering its current asset-buying efforts. The precious metal's
February contract added $26.90, or 2.2%, settling at $1,261.10 an
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