"The bounce that started yesterday continued in a big way
today," noted Schaeffer's Senior Technical Strategist Ryan Detrick,
CMT. "Biotech had a huge move, helping the Nasdaq Composite (COMP)
up about 1.7%. Sparking the rally was the Federal Open Market
Committee (FOMC) meeting minutes, which showed the central bank has
no clue when to implement the first rate hike. Apparently, the fact
that they can't agree is a good sign, as it could mean we have
lower rates for a little longer than we thought yesterday." By the
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
settled near its intraday peak, advancing 181 points.
Trading Topic of the Week
Continue reading for more on today's market, including
-- Tips for Trading Stock Trends:
Don't be afraid to buy plenty of time
. When you're playing trends, go ahead and spring for that
longer-term option. You'll be buying valuable time for the expected
stock move to play out in full.
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 16,437.18)
blazed a steady path higher throughout the session, ultimately
settling near its intraday acme, up 181.04 points, or 1.1%. All but
four of the Dow's 30 components registered gains, led by Merck
& Co., Inc.'s (
) 3.7% ascent. AT&T Inc. (
), meanwhile, paced the blue-chip black sheep, shedding 1%.
S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,872.18)
followed suit, tacking on 20.2 points, or 1.1%, to end north of its
10-day moving average for the first time in four sessions. The
Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,183.90)
once again bested its peers, advancing 70.9 points, or 1.7%, to
climb back into the black for 2014.
CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 13.82)
declined as the session progressed, surrendering 1.1 points, or
7.2%, and erasing its week-to-date gain.
A Trader's Take
"It is officially earnings season, and Alcoa Inc (AA) reacted
positively, up over 3%," added Detrick. "Now, yes, that's just one
company, but it is a good start. One constant has been earnings
revisions ahead of earnings season, and this quarter was no
different. When the bar is set low, it is much easier to clear.
Once again, the bar is set very low, with a near-record amount of
pre-earnings warnings -- most saying things weren't great due to
the poor weather. Just remember, should earnings come in lower than
that bar, they won't be very well received."
5 Items on Our Radar Today
- The latest
Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting
showed that the central bank's policymakers agreed to remove the
unemployment threshold that they had in place for triggering
interest rate hikes. "Almost all members judged that the new
language should be qualitative in nature and should indicate
that, in determining how long to maintain the current (low)
federal funds rate, the Committee would assess progress, both
realized and expected, toward its objectives of maximum
employment and 2 percent inflation," the minutes said.
- La Quinta Holdings Inc (LQ) made its
public trading debut today
, opening below its offering price of $17 and dropping as much as
4% before finishing the session in the green. LQ is the third
lodging company The Blackstone Group L.P. (BX) has taken public
in the last six months, though the private equity firm did not
sell shares during this morning's IPO.
- Meanwhile, option traders employed a variety of strategies to
Bank of America Corp's (BAC) direction
, following news of the firm's $772 million credit card
- Ahead of
General Electric Company's (
) earnings report
next Thursday, call buyers wagered on a modest advance in the
Constellation Brands, Inc. (STZ) calls
flew off of the shelves today, following this morning's fiscal
fourth-quarter earnings beat.
For a look at today's options movers and commodities
activity, head to page 2.
Oil futures reached their highest level in five weeks, as
traders shrugged off a steeper-than-forecast supply rise to focus
on concerns over civil unrest in Ukraine and potential delays in
the reopening of Libyan ports. By the end of the day, May-dated
crude had tacked on $1.04, or 1%, to settle at $103.60 a
Meanwhile, gold stumbled as investors ignored the precious metal
in favor of equities. The June-dated contract gave back $3.20, or
0.2%, to settle at $1,305.90 an ounce. However, the malleable metal
turned higher in after-hours trading, as traders reacted to the
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