"It was a
slow day," noted Schaeffer's Trading Analyst Peter Bryans. "There
weren't any 'A-list' items on the economic calendar, and the market
barely budged. However, the data picks up a bit tomorrow, and Wall
Street will be watching the European Central Bank (ECB) meeting and
Friday's nonfarm payrolls report." Against this ho-hum backdrop,
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
S&P 500 Index (SPX)
took a break from their record-setting ascents, closing modestly
lower on the day.
Trading Topic of the Week
Continue reading for more on today's market, including
-- Trading Low-Priced Options:
DON'T be tempted by the cheapest option
. It may seem like a good idea to keep your entry costs low by
purchasing the lowest-priced option available. However, bear in
mind that the cheapest contracts are most likely to expire
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 16,722.34)
spent the day in the red, swallowing a loss of 21.3 points, or
0.1%, by the time the dust settled. Eighteen of the Dow's 30 blue
chips finished lower, with Nike Inc (
) and Verizon Communications Inc. (
) each shedding 1.5%. Intel Corporation (
) paced the advancing minority, tacking on 1.5%.
S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,924.24)
failed to hit an intraday record for the first session in six,
ending with a loss of 0.7 point, or less than 0.1%. The
Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,234.08)
spent most of the session south of breakeven, giving up 3.1 points,
or 0.1%, to bring its losing streak to three days.
CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 11.87)
muscled higher for a second straight day, ending north of its
10-day moving average for the first time since May 20. However, the
"fear gauge" -- which added 0.3 point, or 2.5%, on the day --
remains south of the closely watched 12 level.
A Trader's Take
"If there was one positive for the bulls, it was that small-caps
-- measured by the iShares Russell 2000 ETF (IWM) -- came off their
lows," added Bryans. "Technically speaking, the IWM was trading
right around the 'gap area' that was filled in yesterday's session.
It will be interesting to see which way small-caps break in the
next few days, or if it's just more of the same slow, sideways
5 Items on Our Radar Today
- Vehicle sales jumped in May, as
shoppers returned to the lots
after a cold winter. General Motors Company (
) announced a 13% increase in sales, topping analysts'
expectations for its best May since 2007. Ford Motor Company (F)
reported year-over-year sales growth of 3%, and sales were also
on the upswing at Chrysler, Toyota Motor Corp (ADR) (TM), and
(Los Angeles Times )
- Esther George, president of Kansas City's Federal Reserve
Bank, suggested that
could be coming both "sooner" and "faster" than earlier
projections might have indicated. Earlier this year, the median
outlook among central bank leaders was for an initial hike in the
summer of 2015, before a measured progression to 2.25% by the end
of 2016. Keeping rates this low for this long could, in George's
opinion, pose "risks to achieving sustainable [economic] growth
over the longer run."
- The battle for control of Hillshire Brands Co (HSH)
, as Pilgrim's Pride Corporation (PPC) upped its buyout bid to
$55 per share. This exceeds its original bid by $10 and tops the
$50-per-share bid on the table from Tyson Foods, Inc. (TSN). All
three companies are staying quiet on the subject, but sources say
Hillshire is preparing to hold talks with both interested
(The New York Times)
- Taking advantage of historically low option premiums,
AT&T Inc. (
traders chose sides on Ma Bell's short-term outlook.
Delta Air Lines, Inc. (DAL)
poised for additional gains?
For a look at today's options movers and commodities
activity, head to page 2.
Oil futures bounced back from a near-two-week low today, as
speculators expect tomorrow's inventories report to show a decline
in domestic stockpiles. July-dated black gold added 19 cents, or
0.2%, to finish at $102.66 per barrel.
August gold futures edged higher today, snapping their
six-session losing streak. By the close -- and with investors
potentially nervous ahead of Friday's nonfarm payrolls report --
the precious metal had gained 50 cents to settle at $1,244.50 an