U.S. Markets Enjoy Another Winning Month; S&P 500 Posts a New Record

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"With the Fed on tap tomorrow and the European Central Bank after that, traders were content to sit this one out, making it a pretty slow day," noted Schaeffer's Senior Technical Strategist Ryan Detrick, CMT. "Still, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) was able to post its 16th consecutive positive Tuesday. This is an all-time record for Tuesdays, and is within shouting distance of the Dow's streak of 24 consecutive Wednesday wins posted in 1968."

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

plus...
  • Stocks stage a comeback, Apple Inc. ( AAPL ) makes news, and Chesapeake Energy ( CHK ) has some traders worried ahead of earnings.

After falling nearly 85 points south of Monday's close right out of the gate, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) began to dig itself out about an hour into the trading day, ultimately closing with modest gains. The index ended at 14,839.80, up 21.1 points, or 0.1%. Half of the Dow's 30 components settled higher on the day, with International Business Machines ( IBM ) taking top honors with a 1.7% gain. At the back of the pack was earnings-plagued Pfizer (PFE), which dropped 4.5%. For April, the Dow logged a gain of 1.8%, its fifth consecutive positive monthly finish.

Elsewhere, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) tagged another new closing high, adding 4 points, or 0.3%, to settle at 1,597.57, which was also a new all-time intraday high for the index. Tech stocks were again the favorite, taking the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) to another 12-year peak. At the close, the COMP was up 21.8 points, or 0.7%, at 3,328.79, its intraday high. For the month, the SPX surged 1.8% while the COMP traded 1.9% higher, the sixth positive monthly close for both.


The CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX) added 6.5% during April, but moved moderately lower today, shedding 0.2 point, or 1.4%, to 13.52.

CLOSING SUMMARY - INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY - NYSE AND NASDAQ

A Trader's Take :

"The S&P 500 managed another new all-time closing high today," Detrick continued. "Also, April finished solidly in the green for the month. There were a lot of vocal bears earlier this month, but once again, the bulls prevailed. In fact, the SPX is now up six months in a row. We are heading into the dreaded 'Sell in May' period everyone talks about, though, so be on your toes here."

3 Things to Know About Today's Market :

  • For the first time in more than 20 years, Apple Inc. ( AAPL ) announced plans to sell debt and will issue $17 billion in bonds. The market reacted positively to this news, sending the shares more than 3% higher. (CNBC)
  • The prices of single-family homes rose 9.3% in February , the largest year-over-year increase in nearly seven years, per the S&P Case-Shiller home price index. All 20 metropolitan areas tracked by the index enjoyed positive gains on the housing-price front. (The Washington Post)
  • Consumer confidence ticked up to 68.1 in April from 61.9 last month, as the percentage of respondents expecting improved business conditions over the next six months rose to 16.9% from 15% in March. (Los Angeles Times)

5 Stocks We Were Watching Today :

  1. Sentiment indicators are flashing bearish on Chesapeake Energy ( CHK ) ahead of earnings tomorrow.
  2. Best Buy Co. (BBY) was upgraded on the heels of news that it is ending its joint partnership with Carphone Warehouse.
  3. Options players were of two minds on Google Inc (GOOG) call options.
  4. Cisco Systems (CSCO) put sellers bet on intermediate-term support at the $17 level.
  5. Yahoo! (YHOO) bulls scooped up long-term, out-of-the-money calls .

EARNINGS

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

STOCKS - NOTABLE CALL ACTIVITY

STOCKS - NOTABLE PUT ACTIVITY

Commodities :

Oil futures retreated today, as a weaker Chicago PMI sparked concerns about energy demand. June-dated crude dropped $1.04, or 1.1%, on the day to close at $93.46 per barrel. For the month, the front-month oil contract slid 3.9% lower.

Gold was higher today, again buoyed by hopes for continued accommodative monetary policy at home and abroad. June gold futures added $4.70 in the session, rising 0.3% to settle at $1,472.10 an ounce. For April, however, the precious metal sank more than 7.7%, its worst monthly decline since December 2011.

SCHAEFFER'S MARKET POSTURE



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.

All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized reproduction of any SIR publication is strictly prohibited.


This article appears in: Investing , Options

Referenced Stocks: AAPL , CHK , F , IBM , NFLX

Schaeffer's Investment Research

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