Wishy-Washy Friday Draws Winning Week to a Close


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For the first day in four, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) failed to reach a new intraday high, as traders opted to stay on the sidelines ahead of the weekend. "It was an extremely slow day on the news front, with not many earnings reports and no meaningful economic data released," noted Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell, CMT. "The markets traded sideways for much of the day as a result." On a weekly basis, the Dow and other major market averages turned in a third consecutive win.

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

  • Ben Bernanke avoids policy talk, Dell Inc. ( DELL ) has a new deal on the table, and Apple Inc. ( AAPL ) short sellers make their presence known.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) bounced around breakeven for the first half of the trading day, before seemingly committing to the downside shortly before noon. The bulls had the last laugh, however, as a late-session burst of buying momentum took the Dow up 35.9 points, or 0.2%, to end the week at a new closing high of 15,118.49. Of the Dow's 30 members, 23 were positive on the day, led by Hewlett-Packard ( HPQ ), which gained 1.7%. Bringing up the rear was Caterpillar (CAT), off 1.5%. For the week, the Dow advanced by just under 1%.

It was a similar session for the S&P 500 Index (SPX) , which closed at its intraday high -- another closing record -- of 1,633.70, up 7 points, or 0.4%. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP) outperformed on the day, trading in positive territory, notching a 12-year peak of 3,436.60, and ending just shy of this apex, at 3,436.58, up 27.4 points, or 0.8%, for the session. The SPX rose 1.2% for the week; the COMP added 1.7%.

The CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX) was back in the red today, slipping back south of the 13 level on a drop of 0.5 point, or 4.1%, to finish at 12.59. Since last Friday, the VIX has given back 2%.



A Trader's Take :

"Overall, we saw energy and basic materials lag the market, while healthcare and telecom names showed strength," added Bell. "Small-caps once again had a pretty nice day, relative to big-cap stocks. With defensive stocks leading for most of early 2013, it's nice to see the riskier growth stocks getting some love of late."

3 Things to Know About Today's Market :

  • Speaking before a banking conference in Chicago, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke failed to comment on monetary policy or the overall U.S. economy. He did express concerns about the shadow banking industry, however, and affirmed that the central bank continues to monitor asset markets for high-risk activities. (Reuters)
  • Dell Inc. ( DELL ) shareholders Southeastern Asset Management and Carl Icahn have joined forces to propose an alternative to Michael Dell's current plan to take the company private for $13.65 per share. In the $21 billion Icahn/Southeastern bid, which keeps the company publicly traded, shareholders would retain their DELL shares, but also receive a $12 per-share cash payout (or additional shares). (Los Angeles Times)
  • The Group of Seven (G7) finance ministers converged on London for a scheduled meeting about the global economic recovery. As a prelude to this gathering, U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew raised an eyebrow at Japan's efforts to shore up its economy, noting there are "ground rules" to follow. (Yahoo! News)

5 Stocks We Were Watching Today :

  1. Apple Inc. ( AAPL ) was recently targeted by bearish investors, who boosted short interest to record highs.
  2. Bad news for Pain Therapeutics (PTIE) inspired increased activity in the options pits.
  3. Long-term Procter & Gamble (PG) bulls expect the shares to top the century mark by January 2015.
  4. Take-Two Interactive Software (TTWO) earned a price-target hike ahead of Monday's earnings report.
  5. Our Option Idea of the Week: Colgate-Palmolive (CL) could be poised to scale a wall of worry into record-high territory.


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



Commodities :

After falling south of the $94-per-barrel threshold intraday, crude oil was able to fight its way back near breakeven by the close. June-dated oil settled off 35 cents, or 0.4%, at $96.04 per barrel. For the week, black gold edged up 0.4%.

Gold futures also fell, thanks in part to a rallying U.S. dollar. By the close, June gold futures had surrendered $32, or 2.2%, to end at $1,436.60 an ounce. The yellow metal was not as fortunate on a weekly basis as its oil counterpart, giving back 1.9%.


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

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

This article appears in: Investing Options
Referenced Stocks: AAPL , DELL , GMCR , HPQ , JPM

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