"The weakness has carried over from Friday," observed
Schaeffer's Senior Technical Strategist Ryan Detrick, CMT. "It's
hard to imagine the S&P 500 Index (SPX) went from a new
all-time high to down on the year in just two days, but it
happened. Momentum names and technology stocks were the first to
crack, and now we're seeing signs that weakness is moving to the
overall market." Against this backdrop, the
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
blazed a steady path lower as the session progressed, ultimately
surrendering 167 points by the close.
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Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 16,245.87)
finished just off its session low, dropping 166.8 points, or 1%.
Twenty-three of the Dow's 30 blue chips ended in the red, led by
Pfizer Inc.'s (PFE) 3% drop. International Business Machines Corp.
(IBM) paced the advancing minority, tacking on 1.4%. Wal-Mart
Stores (WMT), meanwhile, finished flat.
S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,845.04)
swallowed a loss of 20.1 points, or 1.1%, to mark its lowest close
since March 14. The broad-market barometer is now in the red for
2014, down 0.2%. The
Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,079.75)
once again fared the worst of the three major benchmarks,
concluding its worst three-session drop since 2011. By the close,
the tech-rich index retreated 48 points, or 1.2%, to its lowest
settlement since Feb. 6.
CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 15.57)
spent the session in the black, advancing 1.6 points, or 11.5%, to
end north of 15.50 for the first time since March 17.
A Trader's Take
"Technically, the 1,840 level on the SPX has held as support
since early March," added Detrick. "With small-caps and tech
already breaking all near-term support areas, that is a huge level.
Should it give way, another drop could be around the corner."
What's more, he said, "If you take a closer look under the hood,
things have been deteriorating for a while now. Small-caps and tech
have been breaking down all over the place during the past month,
with the big blue chips holding tough. Well, now it looks like the
last place bulls were hiding is finally starting to crack."
5 Items on Our Radar Today
rose by more than expected in February, advancing by $16.49
billion to $3.13 trillion, according to the Federal Reserve.
Economists had expected consumer credit to grow by $14.09
billion. Non-revolving credit -- which includes car and student
loans -- soared by $18.91 billion, marking the biggest gain in a
year. Meanwhile, January's consumer credit figure was upwardly
revised to show an increase of $13.8 billion, from $13.7 billion
- MannKind Corporation (MNKD) took a tumble after the U.S. Food
and Drug Administration (FDA) said it would take longer than
analysts expected to
review the company's inhaled diabetes drug
. In the same sector, Questcor Pharmaceuticals Inc (QCOR) surged
after Mallinckrodt PLC (MNK)
agreed to buy the firm
at a 27% premium to QCOR's closing price on Friday.
- Microsoft Corporation (
) has built a new TV studio, and reportedly plans to
debut six original series
for the Xbox this summer. In similar fashion, Yahoo! Inc. (
) is allegedly on the verge of
ordering four original online TV series
Facebook Inc (FB)
options buyers are betting on a recovery, despite the equity's
offered their two cents
on streaming content providers Pandora Media Inc (P) and Netflix,
For a look at today's options movers and commodities
activity, head to page 2.
Crude oil ticked lower today, amid reports that some Libyan
ports may re-open. By the close, May-dated crude gave up 70 cents,
or 0.7%, to end at $100.44 per barrel.
Gold futures also finished lower, as a sell-off in equities
failed to bolster the malleable metal's "safe haven" appeal. Gold
for June delivery ended with a loss of $5.20, or 0.4%, at $1,298.30