"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."
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 (
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 (
) the top performer, up 1.4%. Bringing up the rear was Alcoa (
), which lost 1.2% on the heels of a
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%.
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
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
(Los Angeles Times, Forbes)
- Less cheerful was the Institute for Supply Management's (ISM)
, 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.
, 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%.
5 Stocks We Were Watching Today
call buyers came out in full force today, as the stock reached a
new two-year peak.
- Long-term option bulls waxed optimistic on
Bank of America (
- Call buyers scooped up back-month positions in
- A conservative bear put spread buyer foresees moderate
near-term weakness in
General Electric (GE)
Dick's Sporting Goods (DKS)
saw a massive influx of put positions following negative analyst
For a look at today's options movers and commodities
activity, head to page 2.
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.