"It was nice to see some strong earnings from the tech sector,
as reports from both Apple Inc. (
) and Facebook Inc (
) were very solid," observed Schaeffer's Senior Technical
Strategist Ryan Detrick, CMT. "All we've heard lately is how tech
could be in a bubble. Well, one major difference between now and
2000 is tech companies are growing and making a lot of money. Then
throw in a strong durable goods report, and the economy continues
to show signs of improvement, even as so many expect it to falter
now that quantitative easing is slowing." In today's trading, the
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
danced around the breakeven level for much of the trading day
before finishing the session unchanged.
Continue reading for more on today's market, including
Trading Topic of the Week
- How Wall Street weighed in on the
big earnings news
from Apple Inc. (
) and Facebook Inc (
- Netflix, Inc. (
) was a
popular choice among short-term traders
, who were betting on how the stock will fare in tomorrow's
- Ford Motor Company (
) and Colgate-Palmolive Company (
) are among the names
closing out this week of earnings
... AAPL unveils a number of surprises, mixed economic data hits
the Street, and Pandora Media Inc (P) option bulls stock up right
ahead of earnings.
-- 5 Reasons to Dodge Directional Risk:
Capitalize on expected volatility spikes
. There are several technical and sentiment indicators that can
tell you whether a stock is on the verge of some major volatility
-- including Bollinger Bands and high levels of short interest.
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 16,501.65)
traded as high as 16,541.26 and as low as 16,452.30 before
ultimately ending the day right where it started. Half of the
blue-chip index's components moved higher today, led by Caterpillar
Inc.'s (CAT) 1.8% advance. Meanwhile, Intel Corporation (INTC)
settled flat, while Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) logged a 2.4%
loss to pace the 14 decliners.
S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,878.61)
was in positive territory for most of the session, but added just
3.2 points, or 0.2%, by the close. The
Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,148.34)
was powered higher on earnings news, gaining 21.4 points, or 0.5%,
by the closing bell.
CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 13.32)
edged higher, adding 0.05 point, or 0.4%, marking its second
A Trader's Take
"Tech led the way today thanks to AAPL, but the other major
indexes were flat on the day," added Detrick. "When you consider
the recent six-consecutive-day bounce, two days' worth of pauses
isn't a bad thing. Technically speaking, the SPX is up near the
March peak around 1,888, so some type of a breather right here
makes sense. Tonight is another huge one on the earnings front, so
be ready for a lot of individual stock volatility tomorrow."
5 Items on Our Radar Today
- AAPL was the talk of the Street today, after
Wednesday night's earnings report
. Quarterly sales topped analysts' expectations on
healthier-than-expected iPhone sales. The company also lifted its
quarterly dividend by 8% to $3.29 per share and amplified its
buyback program. Finally, Apple announced plans to split its
stock 7 for 1 -- the first AAPL split since February 2005.
(Associated Press, via ABC News)
- Durable goods rose by a more-than-expected 2.6% in March,
following a 2.1% jump in February. Demand showed improvement
across all categories. In other news,
initial jobless claims
rose by 24,000 during the week ended April 19. This was a larger
increase than economists were expecting, but was partially
attributed to the late Easter holiday.
- Unrest in Ukraine escalated today, following the death of
five pro-Russian militants. Russia was quick to act, and began
conducting military drills
near the Ukraine border. The U.S. and NATO have already
challenged the presence of roughly 40,000 Russian troops
congregating near this border. Meanwhile, speaking from Tokyo,
President Barack Obama warned that further sanctions could be
levied against Russia if it does not comply with an earlier
agreement regarding the illegal actions of militia members.
- Longer-term options bulls targeted
Pandora Media Inc (P)
ahead of the stock's earnings report this evening.
- Put buyers are betting on a pullback in
Intel Corporation (INTC)
shares over the next few months.
For a look at today's options movers and commodities
activity, head to page 2.
Oil futures bounced higher on concerns about how continued
tension in Ukraine may impact energy prices. The June-dated crude
contract tacked on 50 cents, or 0.5%, to end the session at $101.94
Geopolitical concerns also helped boost gold, as investors were
drawn to the yellow metal as a safe haven. Gold for June delivery
rose $6, or 0.5%, to close at $1,290.60 an ounce, the highest
settlement price in a week.
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