"There wasn't a whole lot of major news out today for the market
to digest," noted Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell, CMT,
"but last week's choppy price action continued, with small-caps and
technology stocks suffering the brunt of the damage this afternoon.
The ongoing Ukraine situation is still hovering over this market,
and the momentum from late February has definitely slowed as March
draws to a close." The
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
started the session in positive territory, but quickly retraced its
steps, closing with a modest loss for the day.
Continue reading for more on today's market, including
Trading Topic of the Week
- Schaeffer's Trading Analyst Peter Bryans crunches the numbers
and asks, "
What is sentiment telling us
" about the market right now?
- A massive drugstore chain, a cruise line, and a payroll
provider are headed to the earnings confessional this week, and
here's how they stack up
- Schaeffer's contributor Adam Warner explains
why 2014 has been a different trading
for those in the volatility game.
... The latest on domestic manufacturing activity, a potential
new venture for Apple Inc. (
) fans, and a battle between the shares of two apparel
-- Tips for Buying Weekly Options:
Buyers should avoid sluggish stocks
. Don't use weekly options to bet on a slowly trending blue chip --
you need a fast, aggressive move in the right direction.
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 16,276.69)
settled slightly lower on the day, despite starting the session in
positive territory and peeking above breakeven shortly before the
close. By the time the bell sounded, the blue-chip index had given
back 26.1 points, or 0.2%. Leading the Dow's 13 advancers was The
Procter & Gamble Company (
), up 1.8% today. Meanwhile, lagging its Dow peers was Pfizer Inc.
), which paced the declining 17 securities with a drop of 2.1%.
S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,857.44)
moved modestly lower as well, dropping 9.1 points, or 0.5%, but
holding north of technical support. The
Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,226.38)
was the day's underperformer, shedding 50.4 points, or 1.2%.
CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 15.09)
headed higher from Friday's close at the 15 mark, edging up 0.1
point, or 0.6%.
A Trader's Take
"The Dow and the S&P 500 were definitely not as hard hit
today as many of the smaller-cap names," continued Bell. "The SPX
still hovers just above the 1,850 area, which served as resistance
in January and most recently provided a bit of support earlier this
5 Items on Our Radar Today
- Financial information company Markit reported its preliminary
reading for the
March purchasing managers index (PMI)
, which pulled back to 55.5 from 57.1 in February. The reading
fell south of economists' estimates, but was comfortably north of
50, suggesting expansion in the manufacturing sector.
(Reuters via CNBC)
- Apple Inc. (
) was in the news today, on reports from
The Wall Street Journal
that the iPad parent is in talks with Comcast Corporation (
) regarding a potential
. The new effort would reportedly enable customers to stream
on-demand or live broadcasts from the cloud. Amid this news,
Apple's weekly call contracts
were notably active
Netflix, Inc. (
took a tumble on these rumors, causing implied volatility to
spike amid increased demand for both calls and puts.
- Which apparel designer will win this week's
Ralph Lauren Corp (RL) or VF Corp (VFC)
- In the wake of a favorable U.S. appeals court ruling,
Visa Inc (V)
earned a price-target hike.
For a look at today's options movers and commodities
activity, head to page 2.
Oil futures inched higher on Monday, as a shipping channel near
Houston closed following a 170,000-gallon oil spill. As investors
weighed supply concerns against mixed manufacturing data from
China, May-dated crude rose 14 cents, or 0.1%, to settle at $99.60
Gold took a tumble amid persistent concerns that the Federal
Reserve will raise interest rates earlier than expected,
potentially lifting the dollar. The April gold contract suffered a
drop of $24.80, or 1.9%, to settle at $1,311.20 per ounce.
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