Stocks Slip Modestly After Steep Morning Losses

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"This morning, the European Commission lowered its 2014 forecast, and this unexpected news sent most major sectors into the red," noted Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell, CMT. "It was pretty impressive how many stocks spent the late afternoon climbing off their lows, and by the end of the day, we had a relatively flat market." Although the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) managed to narrow its losses throughout the day, the index still closed in negative territory for the session.

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

plus...
    The ISM's non-manufacturing index unexpectedly rose in October, AOL, Inc. ( AOL ) reported a revenue beat, and BlackBerry Ltd ( BBRY ) was hit with some bearish brokerage notes.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 15,618.22) stumbled to an intraday low of 15,522.18 within the first hour of trading, but managed to ease its losses to just 20.9 points, or 0.1%, for the session. Cisco Systems, Inc. ( CSCO ) led the Dow's 12 advancers with a gain of 2.2%, while AT&T Inc.'s (T) drop of 2.5% paced the 18 decliners.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,762.97) followed a similar path, and shed 5 points, or 0.3%, on the day. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 3,939.86) outperformed its peers by advancing 3.3 points, or 0.1%, by the close.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 13.27) spiked out of the gate, but finished with a modest advance of 0.3 point, or 2.6% -- and back atop the 13 mark.

CLOSING SUMMARY - INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY - NYSE AND NASDAQ

A Trader's Take :

"Tech stocks continued to impress, as it was one of the best performing sectors today," Bell continued. "Many tech names made up for the clear underperformance of the financial and energy sectors."

3 Things to Know About Today's Market :

  • Despite the government shutdown, the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said its non-manufacturing index arrived at 55.4 in October, up from 54.4 in the month prior. Economists, on average, were expecting the index to decline slightly. (MarketWatch)
  • AOL, Inc. ( AOL ) reported a 90% drop in third-quarter profits to $2 million, or 2 cents per share. Excluding items, earnings arrived at 55 cents per share. Meanwhile, revenue climbed 6% to $561.3 million, topping the consensus view. (Reuters)
  • For the third quarter, CVS Caremark Corporation (CVS) earned $1.25 billion, or $1.03 per share , compared to $1 billion, or 80 cents per share, in the year-ago period. On an adjusted basis, earnings arrived at $1.05 per share, while revenue rose 5.8% to $31.97 billion. Economists, on average, were forecasting an adjusted, per-share profit of $1.02 on $31.53 in sales. (CNBC)

5 Stocks We Were Watching Today :

  1. BlackBerry Ltd ( BBRY ) received some bearish analyst attention after its buyout deal fell through.
  2. A jump in listening hours triggered a price surge for Pandora Media Inc (P) , much to the surprise of bearish bettors.
  3. A stronger-than-expected quarterly earnings report from Michael Kors Holdings Ltd (KORS) lured call buyers and sellers to the options pits.
  4. T-Mobile US, Inc.'s (TMUS) spike in subscriber growth pushed the stock to a new high -- and caused one trader to up his bullish ante.
  5. Ahead of tonight's turn in the earnings confessional, Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA) speculators picked up short-term put options.

EARNINGS

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 turned lower today, amid anxieties regarding an abundance of oil supplies. By the time the dust settled, the December contract dropped $1.25, or 1.3%, to $93.37 per barrel -- marking the lowest price for a most active contract since early June.

Gold futures also declined, as a stronger greenback dragged prices lower. December-dated gold shed $6.60, or 0.5%, to close at $1,308.10 per ounce.

SCHAEFFER'S MARKET POSTURE



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This article appears in: Investing , Options

Referenced Stocks: AOL , BBRY , CSCO , QCOM , ZNGA

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