Stocks Settle Near Breakeven in Low-Volume Session


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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) swayed 78 points today, but ultimately finished near breakeven. "With the bond market and banks closed for Veterans Day, it was a slow and boring session. Then again, after the big selling we saw last week, maybe a boring day isn't so bad," remarked Schaeffer's Senior Technical Strategist Ryan Detrick. "One thing I read and heard a lot about was the action in the CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX). The VIX and other volatility-based instruments were absolutely crushed. A lot of people wondered how this could happen when the market was pretty much flat," continued Detrick. "Clearly they didn't read what Todd Salamone wrote in Monday Morning Outlook over the weekend. The reality is we saw some huge call volume leading up to the election. With that event in the books, everyone 'pre-bought' volatility and now implied volatility is imploding."

Chart of the Day : Nine reasons why Schaeffer's Senior Options Strategist Tony Venosa, CMT, thinks First Solar ( FSLR ) could light up the charts .

Daily Game Plan : Schaeffer's Senior Trading Analyst Bryan Sapp contemplates the old investing mantra, "Never short a dull market."

And now, a look at the numbers...



Stocks experienced see-saw action today, but came to rest in negative territory, swallowing a very narrow loss. As such, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) settled below its 200-day moving average for a fourth day.

Elsewhere, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) settled fractionally higher, but couldn't surmount its 200-day moving average. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) was also little moved, but turned fractionally lower by the close.

The CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX) took a hit today, drifting below its own 200-day moving average. The VIX ripped off roughly 10%, parking at its lowest point since Oct. 22.

Today's highlight : "Yet again, merger-and-acquisition activity was strong. We've seen a lot of this occurring on Mondays over the past few months, and today was no different," said Detrick. "There were three deals that went down, and all three showed substantial value in the companies versus what Wall Street believed. The big movers were Jefferies ( JEF ), Titanium Metals (TIE), and Crexus Investment (CXS). Overall, things are tricky here, but I continue to think deals like we've been seeing are rather bullish longer-term."

More of today's big stories :

And, in case you missed it ... A "coiling" pattern has been building in the Merrill Lynch Semiconductors HOLDRS ETF (SMH)... Is a breakout on tap?

For today's activity in commodities, options, and more, head to page 2.

Commodities markets :

Oil futures started the week on a negative note, as traders remain wary of the looming fiscal cliff. However, rising tensions between Israel and Syria created a floor for black gold, keeping the commodity's losses to a minimum. By the close, crude for December delivery fell 50 cents, or 0.6%, to close at $85.57 per barrel.

Gold ended a quiet session completely flat, as the Veterans Day holiday translated into an uneventful session. For the second consecutive day, gold for December delivery finished squarely at $1,730.90 per ounce, having bounced between a high of $1,738 and a low of $1,725.20.

Levels to watch in trading...

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 12,816.70) - support at 11,500; resistance at 14,000
  • S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,380.00) - support at 1,100; resistance at 1,500
  • Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 2,904.25) - support at 2,400; resistance at 3,400






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 critical, timely and insightful report. If you enjoyed today's edition of Market Recap, sign up here for free daily delivery straight to your inbox.

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

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

This article appears in: Investing Options
Referenced Stocks: CAT , FSLR , GE , JEF , XOM

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