"Price action was pretty mixed today, with most major sectors
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
finishing in the red," noted Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe
Bell, CMT. "Housing starts were a little bit worse than expected,
but we really didn't receive too many market-moving economic
reports. The Fed minutes were released today and increased the
downward momentum for some sectors, especially many of the
Continue reading for more on today's market, including
... Fed minutes suggest an upbeat outlook, one central bank leader
looks ahead to a rate hike, and Tesla Motors Inc (
) options players get active ahead of earnings.
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 16,040.56)
spent a decent chunk of the morning in positive territory, but
closed the session near its intraday low, down 89.8 points, or
0.6%. Verizon Communications Inc. (
) paced the six Dow advancers, rising 1.2%, while JPMorgan Chase
& Co. (
) surrendered 2.1% to bring up the rear.
S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,828.75)
also lost ground on the day, shedding 12 points, or 0.7%, to
complete a bearish outside day. The
Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,237.95)
moved into the red as well, snapping its eight-day winning streak
with a drop of 34.8 points, or 0.8%.
CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 15.50)
sprinted higher amid selling pressure in the broad markets,
settling with a gain of 1.6 points, or 11.8%, to close north of 15
for the first time since Feb. 10. With the move, the "fear gauge"
edged back above its 10-day moving average.
A Trader's Take
"Taking a step back, many of the indexes have been up eight
consecutive days, and price action has been incredibly strong the
past couple of weeks," observed Bell. "Despite the dip today, we
have quickly erased much of the late-January pullback that shocked
so many investors."
5 Items on Our Radar Today
- Minutes from the January meeting of the Federal Open Market
Committee (FOMC) revealed that
central bank leaders remain hopeful
about the U.S. economic recovery. As such, they agreed that a
continued tapering of the asset-buying program was warranted.
(The New York Times)
- In further central bank developments, Atlanta Fed President
projected an interest-rate hike
in the second half of 2015. He also noted that, barring any
massive setbacks on the economic front, "I expect the asset
purchase program to be completely wound down by the fourth
quarter of this year."
producer price index (PPI)
ticked 0.2% higher last month, due to an increase in the price
for finished goods. The Labor Department measure was recently
expanded to include services and construction. On a
year-over-year basis through January, the PPI rose 1.2%.
- A neutral-to-bullish spread trader wagered on limited
downside prospects for
Apple Inc. (AAPL)
over the next couple of months.
- Ahead of its Wednesday evening earnings report,
Tesla Motors Inc (
earned new lukewarm coverage at FBR and spurred
a volatility play
in its options pits.
For a look at today's options movers and commodities
activity, head to page 2.
Oil gained ground on Wednesday, ahead of tomorrow's
holiday-delayed weekly status update on petroleum supplies. By the
close, March crude futures were up 88 cents, or 0.9%, at $103.31
Gold futures couldn't continue their winning streak, and posted
their first loss in 10 sessions. April-dated futures declined $4,
or 0.3%, to settle at $1,320.40 an ounce, and continued to head
lower in after-hours activity following the release of the Fed
minutes. The nine-session winning streak was the precious metal's
longest since July 2011.
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