"In the end, it came down to the fact that we are in a bull
market," said Schaeffer's Senior Technical Strategist Ryan Detrick,
CMT, of a day that saw both the
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
S&P 500 Index (SPX)
step to new all-time highs. "You can say earnings, Fed minutes, or
European gains were behind today's strength. Whatever the true
reason, picking a top is a very tough game, and many traders have
been trying to do that recently, but they keep getting burned."
Continue reading for more on today's market, including
- The S&P 500 hits uncharted territory, the central bank
unveils its minutes a few hours early, and bearish speculation
continues on Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (
Dow Jones Industrial Average
shot higher out of the gate and ultimately pegged another new
all-time high of 14,826.66. After giving back some of these gains,
the Dow settled up 129 points, or 0.9%, at 14,802.24. Of the 30 Dow
components, 26 settled higher, with Merck (
) leading the way with a 2.9% gain. Pacing the declining minority
were Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) and Alcoa (AA), each of which lost just
S&P 500 Index (SPX)
was the real index story of the day, however, overcoming its
October 2007 intraday high to notch a new high-water mark of
1,589.07. By the close, the SPX was up 19 points, or 1.2%, at
Nasdaq Composite (COMP)
had a banner day as well, surging 59 points, or 1.8%, to 3,297.25.
In intraday trading, the tech-rich index registered a new 12-year
peak of 3,299.16.
CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX)
peeked into positive territory ever-so-briefly today, but ended the
session off 0.5 point, or 3.7%, at 12.36. This was the fourth drop
in five days for the so-called fear barometer.
A Trader's Take
"Hitting more new highs is always nice, but I was impressed with
the small-caps finally leading," noted Detrick. "The higher-beta
small-caps have been lagging recently, and were simply decimated
last week. So to see them take charge and lead today was a very
nice sign under the surface."
3 Things to Know About Today's Market
- The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) released the minutes
from its March 19-20 meeting (a few hours ahead of schedule).
These suggested many policymakers
expect to reduce
the Fed's current rate of asset purchases over the next several
months, and could stop the program entirely by the end of the
- President Obama shared his
$3.77 trillion budget
for 2014 and emphasized a focus on lowering the deficit while
growing the economy. The commander in chief also affirmed he has
"met Republicans more than halfway," and implied he is not in a
position to compromise further.
- To the surprise of economists, China reported a
14.1% year-over-year surge
in imports during March, which outpaced the 10% jump in exports.
The country netted a trade deficit of $884 million, following a
surplus of $15.3 billion the previous month.
5 Stocks We Were Watching Today
- Netflix, Inc. (NFLX) moved lower today after
the stock was initiated
with an "underweight" rating this morning.
- Back in the news, Herbalife Ltd. (HLF) is seeing
long put options
in high demand.
- Bank of America (BAC) call speculators
have high hopes
for the rest of the week.
- Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) speculators
expect continued gains
over the next few months.
- Bearish stock and option traders continue to
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (
) in the wake of its strong price action.
For a look at today's options movers and commodities
activity, head to page 2.
Crude futures were slightly higher today, boosted by reports of
a smaller-than-expected build in domestic stockpiles. May-dated oil
closed up 44 cents, or 0.5%, to settle at $94.64 per barrel.
Gold, on the other hand, endured its steepest one-day drop since
November, following a downwardly revised 2013 price forecast from
Goldman Sachs. A stronger U.S. dollar also contributed to the
precious metal's losses, as June gold futures sank $27.90, or 1.8%,
to $1,558.80 an ounce.
At the end of every market day, the staff at Schaeffer's
Investment Research reviews the trading day in detail, covering
major events and key market developments. Don't miss this
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