Undeterred by Global Concerns, Stocks Veer Higher


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"The U.S. markets shook off worldwide selling in a very nice fashion today," observed Schaeffer's Senior Technical Strategist Ryan Detrick, CMT. "Sure, volume was light and it was a half-day. Still, it was impressive given how things looked in the morning." The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) started in the red, but fought back throughout the shortened session, settling with a 0.4% gain. The blue-chip index remains eluded, however, by the 15,000 level.

Continue reading for more on today's market, including :

    Encouraging jobs data -- on two different fronts -- and optimistic options activity in Bank of America ( BAC ).

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 14,988.55) once again crossed through the 15,000 level intraday, but was unable to hold above this millennium mark. Still, after hitting a morning low of 14,858.93, the index settled with a gain of 56.1 points, or 0.4%. Twenty-one of the Dow's 30 components moved higher today, with Boeing ( BA ) the top performer, up 1.4%. Bringing up the rear was Alcoa ( AA ), which lost 1.2% on the heels of a downgrade .

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,615.41) posted minor gains, rising 1.3 points, or 0.1%, to end the session below its 50-day moving average. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 3,443.67) also gained modest ground, tacking on 10.3 points, or 0.3%.

The CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 16.20) headed back into losing territory after finishing Tuesday's session in the green. The VIX closed off 0.2 point, or 1.5%, right at its intraday low.



A Trader's Take :

"Today's ADP private-sector payrolls report showed some impressive job growth, and that sparked some buying," Detrick added. "Still, Friday morning brings the June jobs report, and that will be the big event of the week. Keep your eyes open to continued political unrest in Egypt tomorrow, as there is always the chance that could spark some volatility worldwide."

3 Things to Know About Today's Market :

  • The labor market was in focus ahead of Friday's big jobs report. The Labor Department noted that first-time jobless claims declined by 5,000 last week (a better reading than expected) to a seasonally adjusted 343,000. Elsewhere, Automatic Data Processing (ADP) reported that employment in the private sector expanded by 188,000 jobs last month, also topping the consensus view. (Los Angeles Times, Forbes)
  • Less cheerful was the Institute for Supply Management's (ISM) non-manufacturing index , which dropped unexpectedly to 52.2 in June from 53.7 in May. This was the weakest growth pace in the services sector in more than three years. (CNBC)
  • The trade gap , meanwhile, widened by roughly 12% in May to $45 billion, for the largest gap since November. Exports were off 0.3%, while imports rose 1.9%. (USA Today)

5 Stocks We Were Watching Today :

  1. Ford (F) call buyers came out in full force today, as the stock reached a new two-year peak.
  2. Long-term option bulls waxed optimistic on Bank of America ( BAC ) .
  3. Call buyers scooped up back-month positions in Halliburton (HAL) .
  4. A conservative bear put spread buyer foresees moderate near-term weakness in General Electric (GE) shares.
  5. Dick's Sporting Goods (DKS) saw a massive influx of put positions following negative analyst attention.

For a look at today's options movers and commodities activity, head to page 2.



Commodities :

Oil continued to rally today, surging into triple digits as tensions escalated in the Middle East. Black gold was also boosted by the weekly report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, which revealed a steeper-than-expected drop in crude supplies. At press time, August crude futures had gained $1.59, or 1.6%, to $101.19 per barrel.

The worsening situation in Egypt also benefited gold futures, which moved higher on low volume. August-dated gold was up $4.90, or 0.4%, to $1,248.30 an ounce at press time.


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

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This article appears in: Investing , Options
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