"Well, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) couldn't manage eight winning
days in a row, and had to settle for a seven-day streak," quipped
Schaeffer's Senior Technical Strategist Ryan Detrick, CMT. "Today
was a very slow and boring day, and that's not a bad thing. After
the run we've had, this looks like the market simply trying to
catch its breath." Against this backdrop, the
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
spent time on both sides of breakeven before settling with modest
Continue reading for more on today's market, including
John Kerry heads to Switzerland, Michael Dell gets his way, and
Pandora Media (
) speculators respond to the company's CEO news.
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 15,300.64)
lost some ground on Thursday after posting three consecutive
triple-digit gains. The blue-chip index did manage to end the day a
hair above the 15,300 level, down 26 points, or 0.2%. Eight of the
Dow's 30 components finished higher on the day -- led by Walt
), which gained 2.4% on share-buyback news. United Technologies (
) was unchanged, and JPMorgan Chase (JPM) brought up the rear, down
S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,683.42)
snapped its seven-day winning streak and only spent a few moments
in positive territory during the session. At the close, the index
had given back 5.7 points, or 0.3%. Yesterday's laggard, the
Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 3,715.97)
, added to its declines (despite reaching a near-13-year high in
morning trading). The tech-rich index ended the day with a loss of
9 points, or 0.2%.
CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 14.29)
broke higher after three days in the red, adding 0.5 point, or
3.4%, to close near its intraday high of 14.39.
A Trader's Take
"Financials and small-caps lagged big time today," observed
Detrick. "This isn't what you want to see, and is something to
monitor. One or two days isn't the end of the world, but if this
September surprise rally is to continue, these two influential
groups need to assume some leadership."
3 Things to Know About Today's Market
- Weekly jobless claims
fell 31,000 last week
to a seasonally adjusted reading of 292,000, the Labor Department
noted. While this level marked a seven-year low, there is a
caveat: two states did not properly process all claims received
during the past week.
- Talks began between Secretary of State John Kerry and his
Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov.
The men met
in Geneva, Switzerland to discuss Russia's proposal that Syria
relinquish its chemical weapons to avoid a military strike.
- Dell Inc. (DELL) shareholders
voted in approval
of company founder Michael Dell's $25 billion buyout bid that
will take the computer maker private.
5 Stocks We Were Watching Today
- After hitting a new all-time high in Wednesday's trading,
Facebook Inc (FB)
secured a price-target hike from J.P. Morgan.
- Call volume ramped up in
Pandora Media (
option pits after the streaming-music concern appointed a new
- Bullishness among option players has been building as
approaches the $300 mark.
Lululemon Athletica (LULU)
speculators pounced, following the company's ill-received
saw a slew of options activity in the front- and back-month
series, as the stock cruised to a new annual high.
For a look at today's options movers and commodities
activity, head to page 2.
Crude futures extended yesterday's rebound, as heightened
tensions with Syria translated into an upbeat global oil demand
forecast from the International Energy Agency (IEA). By the close,
October-dated crude tacked on $1.04, or 1%, to finish at $108.60
On the other hand, gold futures plummeted amid expectations for
a stimulus-tapering announcement from the Fed next week. Gold for
December delivery shed $33.20, or 2.4%, to end at a one-month low
of $1,330.60 an ounce.