U.S. Markets Go Nowhere Fast as Bulls Stay Sidelined

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"After a strong breakout late last week , the market quickly returned back to form and delivered another lackluster trading day," said Schaeffer's Senior Equities Analyst Joe Bell. "While market participants will be keeping an eye on this Wednesday's meeting of European leaders, the August 31st Fed meeting will certainly be the next date on the calendar to circle." Indeed, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) spent most of the session faltering under the breakeven mark.

Keep reading to see what else was on our radar today:

And now, a look at the numbers...

CLOSING SUMMARY - INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY - NYSE AND NASDAQ

At its lowest point, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 13,271.64) was off nearly 45points to an intraday low of 13,230.06. But by the time the closing bell sounded, the blue-chip barometer had regained nearly all of its deficit, parking just 3.6 points below breakeven. Twenty of the 30 components declined, as American Express Company's ( AXP ) 1.2% tumble paced the underperformers. On the contrary, Hewlett-Packard Company ( HPQ ) led the 10 winning issues with a 2.9% gain.

Similarly, the S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,418.13) and Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 3,076.21) were little moved by the time the dust settled, notching fractional losses on the day.

The CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 14.02) moved north today, increasing by 4.2%, and settling just atop its session low of 13.99.

Today's highlight : "We continue to contend with the former 2012 closing high of 1,422 on the SPX," noted Bell. "The market was able to hold last week's gains and shrug off a slight bit of weakness this morning, finishing virtually breakeven today."

Turning to today's major market stories...

For today's activity in commodities, options, and more, head to page 2.

Crude futures turned lower for the first time in five sessions, as supply concerns out of the North Sea and the Middle East couldn't quite offset the negative sentiment fostered by the European Central Bank's actions to fight the region's debt crisis. Against this backdrop, oil for September delivery dipped 4 cents to close at $95.97 a barrel.

On the other hand, gold futures notched a fourth-straight win as the euro-zone economic strife once again buoyed the precious metal. As the euro outpaced the dollar, December-dated gold added $3.60, or 0.2%, to land at $1,623 an ounce.

Levels to watch in trading...

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 13,271.64) - support at 11,500; resistance at 14,000
  • S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,418.13) - support at 1,100; resistance at 1,500
  • Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 3,076.21) - support at 2,400; resistance at 3,400

OUTPERFORMING AND UNDERPERFORMING SECTORS

STOCKS - MOVERS

STOCKS - EARNINGS

STOCKS - NOTABLE CALL ACTIVITY

STOCKS - NOTABLE PUT ACTIVITY

Click through to read coverage of today's notable annual highs and lows .

SCHAEFFER'S MARKET POSTURE

At the end of every market day, the staff at Schaeffer's Investment Research reviews the trading day in detail, covering major events and key market developments. Don't miss this critical, timely and insightful report. If you enjoyed today's edition of Market Recap, sign up here for free daily delivery straight to your inbox.



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: AXP , FB , HOG , HPQ , MS

Schaeffer's Investment Research

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