Stocks Snap Losing Streak as Wall Street Awaits the Fed

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"The budget deal out of Washington was officially passed in the House of Representatives, and will now head over to the Senate," said Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell, CMT. "For all the attention this received a couple of months ago, it has kind of flown under the radar, and isn't affecting the market too much. Most major indices climbed off their lows throughout the day, but the rally was relatively minimal." Meanwhile, as investors eye next week's Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) snapped its daily losing streak, but finished the week in negative territory.

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

  • Schaeffer's Trading Analyst Peter Bryans takes an in-depth look at term structures in his Trading 101 column.
  • How has the "binge-watching" phenomenon impacted Netflix, Inc. ( NFLX ) ?
  • As positive headlines swirled around this popular automaker , traders placed bullish short-term bets.
plus...
    Producer prices declined for a third consecutive month, Adobe Systems Incorporated ( ADBE ) enjoyed a post-earnings jump, and short-term puts were active on Cisco Systems, Inc. ( CSCO ).

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 15,755.36) experienced some choppy price action today, but finished the day 15.9 points, or 0.1%, higher. For the week, however, the blue-chip bellwether fell 1.7%. The Dow's 14 advancers were led by Visa Inc's ( V ) 1.9% gain, while a 1.4% decline for Microsoft Corporation ( MSFT ) paced the 15 laggards. Pfizer Inc. (PFE) remained unchanged.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,775.32) followed a similar path as the Dow for much of the day, but edged 0.2 point, or 0.01%, lower by the close. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,000.98) advanced 2.6 points, or 0.1%, for the session. Week-over-week, the indexes shed 1.6% and 1.5%, respectively.


Elsewhere, the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 15.76) sank to an intraday low of 15.06 right out of the gate this morning, but muscled its way higher during the afternoon to close 0.2 point, or 1.4%, higher. On a weekly basis, the "fear gauge" climbed 14.3%.

CLOSING SUMMARY - INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY - NYSE AND NASDAQ

A Trader's Take :

"Once again, small-caps took a leadership role today, after performing poorly in the early part of this month," Bell continued. "It was nice to see this group show some strength, and it might be a good sign as we now turn to the second half of December, which has historically been a very strong time for the market."

3 Things to Know About Today's Market :

  • In a 332-94 vote, the House of Representatives approved the budget agreement proposed by Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.). The plan -- which will be voted on by the Senate early next week -- would provide the government with some much-needed stability over the next two years. (CNBC)
  • The Labor Department said the producer price index (PPI) fell by 0.1% in November, marking a third straight monthly decline. Meanwhile, core PPI -- which excludes food and energy costs -- rose 0.1% last month. On a year-over-year basis, PPI and core PPI are were up 0.7% and 1.3%, respectively. (MarketWatch)
  • Adobe Systems Incorporated ( ADBE ) reported a fiscal fourth-quarter profit of $65.3 million, or 13 cents per share, down from $222.3 million, or 44 cents per share, in the year-ago period. Excluding items, earnings arrived at 32 cents per share, matching consensus estimates. Meanwhile, revenue fell 9.6% to $1.04 billion -- slightly above analysts' projections. However, the shares rallied to an all-time high today thanks to news of a 22% spike in Creative Cloud subscribers. (Reuters)

5 Stocks We Were Watching Today :

  1. Google Inc (GOOG) scored some bullish brokerage attention at Evercore Partners ahead of this morning's opening bell.
  2. The latest Option Idea of the Week explains why Southwest Airlines Co. (LUV) could be poised for near-term gains.
  3. Bearish bettors swarmed Cisco Systems, Inc. ( CSCO ) , after the firm slashed its fiscal 2014 revenue guidance yesterday.
  4. General Electric Company (GE) put volume surged, despite news that the diversified conglomerate raised its quarterly dividend.
  5. Upbeat November sales news triggered a surge for Electronic Arts Inc. (EA) , but that didn't keep option bears at bay.

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 declined today, as tapering fears -- along with concerns of increasing oil supplies in Libya -- dragged prices lower. By session's end, the January contract shaved off 90 cents, or 0.9%, to finish at $96.60 per barrel. For the week, crude fell 1.1%.

Conversely, gold futures managed a daily gain, as investors await the outcome of next week's Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting. February-dated gold added $9.70, or 0.8%, to close at $1,234.60 an ounce. On a weekly basis, the precious metal edged up 0.5%.

SCHAEFFER'S MARKET POSTURE



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

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


This article appears in: Investing , Options

Referenced Stocks: ADBE , CSCO , MSFT , NFLX , V

Schaeffer's Investment Research

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