More of the same in Washington, D.C., kept stocks around
breakeven, with the
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
flirting with both gains and losses throughout the day. The
fiscal-cliff sound bite
came courtesy of White House spokesman Jay Carney, who called the
Republicans' latest budget proposal "magic beans and fairy dust."
Meanwhile, "We have the potential of getting a deal done,"
President Barack Obama told Bloomberg TV, while Senate Minority
Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., urged the commander-in-chief to get
more involved. Against this familiar backdrop, and with a lack of
economic news to go on, the major market indexes suffered modest
losses by the close.
Continue reading for more on today's market events,
Daily Game Plan
: There could be plenty more upside in store for this
outperforming telecom stock
, according to Senior Trading Analyst Bryan Sapp.
Chart of the Day
this satellite radio provider
conquer the enormous roadblock overhead? Senior Options
Strategist Tony Venosa, CMT, takes a look.
: Senior Technical Strategist Ryan Detrick, CMT, makes a case for
Santa Claus rally
Everything You Need to Know
: Your one-stop shop for levels to watch, economic data, earnings
reports, stocks on the move, and commodities action.
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA)
didn't stray too far in either direction, ending 13.8 points, or
0.1%, lower. However, the blue-chip barometer maintained a perch
atop its 10-day moving average. Among the Dow's 30 components, 14
finished higher, led by Hewlett-Packard's (
) 5.1% advance. On the other hand,
Home Depot (
paced the bearish majority, shedding 1.1%.
S&P 500 Index (SPX)
also finished just south of breakeven, surrendering 2.4 points, or
0.2%. Meanwhile, the
Nasdaq Composite (COMP)
gave up 5.5 points, or 0.2%, to end its three-session run atop the
CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX)
tacked on nearly 3%, toppling the 17 level for the first time since
A Trader's Take
"There was really no major news -- and Wall Street acted like
it," said Detrick. "The market seems to simply be taking a pause
near various big, round-number levels, like the Nasdaq 3,000, SPX
1,400, and Dow 13,000. It was a nice day to get caught up on some
other work, because there wasn't much movement."
Honing in on specific sectors, "Housing was disappointing," he
said. "Toll Brothers (
) came out with great earnings and the entire group gapped higher,
yet, by the end of the day, all the stocks were well off their
highs. We've been bullish on housing all year, but I'm beginning to
notice a lot of bulls showing up to the party all of a sudden."
Economic and Earnings News
There were no economic reports of note today.
More Stocks Making News
For today's activity in commodities, options, and more, head
to page 2.
In the Options Pits
Crude futures turned south today, retreating from the previous
session's two-week high and breaking a three-day winning streak.
Fiscal-cliff talks in Washington, D.C., remained at a stalemate,
giving traders little reason to buy the economically sensitive
commodity. Oil for January delivery ended on a loss of 59 cents, or
0.7%, at $88.50 per barrel.
Gold futures were also thumped lower, with analysts chalking up
the bearish move to coordinated selling efforts among traders in
Asia. February-dated gold gave up $25.30, or 1.5%, to close at
$1,695.80 per ounce -- the precious metal's lowest daily finish in
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