"Concerns over Ukraine and Russia came back strong, and were
cited as the reason for today's big drop," reported Schaeffer's
Senior Technical Strategist Ryan Detrick, CMT. "Amazon.com, Inc. (
) didn't help, as its outlook left a lot to be desired. Bigger
picture, the chop continues. Coming into this week, the S&P 500
Index (SPX) -- in terms of its weekly price action -- was
up/down/up/down/up/down/up ... and finished moderately down today.
The reality is the high-flying momentum names continue to drop
significantly, while most other stocks keep chopping around in a
very frustrating fashion." Meanwhile, the
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
was down nearly 170 points at its intraday nadir, and finished 140
points lower, ending the week in negative territory.
Trading Topic of the Week
Continue reading for more on today's market, including
-- 5 Reasons to Dodge Directional Risk:
Reduce your reliance on stop-losses
. With straddles, your dual directional exposure means you won't
suffer major initial losses due to market volatility or adverse
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 16,361.46)
spent Friday in the red, hitting its lowest point in mid-afternoon
trading before closing with a 140.2 point, or 0.9%, drop. For the
week, the blue-chip index lost 0.3%. Eight Dow names managed to
gain ground today, led by McDonald's Corporation (
), which rose 0.9%. Pacing the declining majority was Visa Inc (V),
which dropped 5% amid concerns that sanctions against Russia could
impact the credit card giant's bottom line.
S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,863.40)
also fell, losing 15.2 points, or 0.8%, on the day, and closing the
week off less than 0.1%. The
Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,075.56)
fared the worst of its index peers, shedding 72.8 points, or 1.8%,
to bring its weekly deficit to 0.5%.
CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 14.06)
closed back above the 14 level for the first time since April 16,
rising 0.7 point, or 5.6%, on the day. This week, the market's
"fear gauge" added 5.2%.
A Trader's Take
"The reality is, next week is still earnings season, but all of
that can quickly take a backseat to what is happening in Ukraine
and Russia," noted Detrick. "Earnings season has been impressive
thus far, but there's an old saying that 'news trumps charts,' and
news out of Russia could create a good deal of volatility by the
time we get back to our desks Monday morning. Fasten your seat
5 Items on Our Radar Today
- The escalating conflict
surrounding Ukraine's borders
took center stage once again, sending stocks lower around the
globe. President Barack Obama announced plans to gather European
leaders to discuss the situation (and possibly weigh additional
sanctions). Standard & Poor's, meanwhile, downgraded Russia's
debt rating to one mere step above "junk" status, and the
country's central bank weighed in by hiking its interest rate.
- Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's
final reading on consumer sentiment
for April reflected a continued rise in collective confidence.
Specifically, the reading rose to 84.1, hitting a nine-month peak
and exceeding economists' estimates. The mid-month reading came
in at 82.6.
- AMZN reported a
23% jump in sales for its first quarter
, narrowly exceeding analysts' expectations. Looking forward,
however, the online retailing giant said it expects to post an
operating loss in the second quarter, though sales are projected
to rise between 15% and 26% on a year-over-year basis.
(The New York Times)
- In the midst of an intraday tumble,
Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (
was targeted by put sellers betting on intermediate-term
- Option bulls were caught off guard by
Ford Motor Company's (F)
poorly received earnings report.
For a look at today's options movers and commodities
activity, head to page 2.
Oil futures retreated on Friday, as concerns about robust
inventory levels in the U.S. trumped any Ukraine-related anxiety.
The June contract slipped $1.34, or 1.3%, to close at $100.60 per
barrel. For the week, oil declined 3.5%, the commodity's worst
weekly deficit since mid-March.
Gold futures, on the other hand, moved higher for the third day
in a row, amid geopolitical concerns and a pullback in U.S.
equities. By the closing bell, June-dated gold had jumped $10.20,
or 0.8%, to rest at $1,300.80 an ounce. Week-over-week, gold edged