"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:
And now, a look at the numbers...
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- Plus, three enticing stock picks to
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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 (
) led the laggards with a 3.1% drop. On the other hand, Procter
& Gamble (
) paced the seven winning issues with a 0.8% gain.
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,
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
Initial jobless claims
dropped by 27,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 365,000, said
, marking the largest weekly decline since May 2011. The report was
stronger than expected, as economists expected 378,000 first-time
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.
: "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
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
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
For today's notable annual highs and lows,
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