Triple-Digit Swing for the Dow as SPX Tests Neckline

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"It was nice to see the weekly initial jobless claims come in better than expected. For the past month, the jobs data has been weak, but today's news is at least a step in the right direction," said Senior Technical Strategist Ryan Detrick. "Worry ahead of tomorrow's payroll data pushed us lower, but volume was light, so it doesn't look like big money was selling." With that, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) was able to repair some of its early losses.

Click through to see what else was on our radar today:

  • Will the payrolls report help the SPX break free from its trading range ?
  • Columnist Adam Warner checked out the volatility of volatility .
  • Green Mountain Coffee Roasters ( GMCR ) got burned.
  • Plus, three enticing stock picks to satisfy the hungry contrarian .
And now, a look at the numbers...

CLOSING SUMMARY - INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY - NYSE AND NASDAQ

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 13,206.59) took a 108.5-point ride today -- reaching as high as 13,284.09 in morning trading, and as low as 13,175.64 just after midday. By the time the dust settled, however, the blue-chip barometer lost 62 points, or 0.5%. Twenty-three of the Dow's 30 components closed with losses, as Hewlett-Packard ( HPQ ) led the laggards with a 3.1% drop. On the other hand, Procter & Gamble ( PG ) paced the seven winning issues with a 0.8% gain.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,391.57) dipped below 1,400 again, and turned in a 10.7-point, or 0.8%, deficit. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 3,024.30) fared the worst of its fellow benchmarks and lopped off 35.6 points, or 1.2%.

Scoring a second straight finish atop its 40-day moving average, the CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 17.56) added 4% by the closing bell, ending just below its intraday peak of 17.92. This marked the VIX's highest settlement since April 24.

Newsmakers...

Initial jobless claims dropped by 27,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 365,000, said the Labor Department , marking the largest weekly decline since May 2011. The report was stronger than expected, as economists expected 378,000 first-time unemployment filings.

The ISM's non-manufacturing index pulled back to 53.5 in April, down from 56.0 in March. The retreat was steeper than anticipated, with the consensus estimate calling for a reading of 55.5.

Today's highlight : "Tomorrow's April jobs number will be very critical," stated Detrick. "If it comes in strong, we could say the recent weakness was probably a minor dip, and maybe even weather-related. But if the data comes in weak again, we could have a trend on our hands."

Turning to today's major market stories...

For today's activity in commodities, options, and more, head to page 2.

Oil futures closed at their lowest price since April 19 today, marking a second straight loss. Today's upbeat jobless claims report failed to provide any support for the commodity, as most investors headed to the sidelines ahead of tomorrow's nonfarm payrolls report. June-dated crude retreated $2.68, or 2.6%, to close at $102.54 a barrel.

Gold futures ended at their worst price in nearly two weeks, as today's jobless data seemed to diminish the likelihood of additional economic stimulus. The malleable metal also took a hit following the European Central Bank's (ECB) latest meeting, as President Mario Draghi explained that policymakers overseas didn't even discuss the prospect of a rate cut. Making it four down days in a row, gold for June delivery hacked off $19.20, or 1.2%, to land at $1,634.80 an ounce.

Levels to Watch in Trading :

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 13,206.59) - support at 11,500; resistance at 14,000
  • S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,391.57) - support at 1,100; resistance at 1,500
  • Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 3,024.30) - support at 2,400; resistance at 3,400

OUTPERFORMING AND UNDERPERFORMING SECTORS

STOCKS - MOVERS

STOCKS - EARNINGS

STOCKS - NOTABLE CALL ACTIVITY

STOCKS - NOTABLE PUT ACTIVITY

For today's notable annual highs and lows, click here .

SCHAEFFER'S MARKET POSTURE

At the end of every market day, the staff at Schaeffer's Investment Research reviews the trading day in detail, covering major events and key market developments. Don't miss this critical, timely and insightful report. If you enjoyed today's edition of Market Recap, sign up here for free daily delivery straight to your inbox.



The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

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This article appears in: Investing , Options

Referenced Stocks: GMCR , HPQ , LNKD , PG , YELP

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