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Choppy Trading Session Resolves to the Upside

Posted
4/4/2013 4:18:00 PM
By: Schaeffer's Investment Research
Referenced Stocks:AA;CSCO;HPQ;IBM;SIRI

"The S&P 500 Index experienced an inside day today," noted Schaeffer's Senior Options Strategist Tony Venosa, CMT, pointing out that the index's total daily trading range (1,552.52 to 1,562.60) was contained within yesterday's intraday range. "Market participants were clearly awaiting tomorrow's employment report for March," he added. Meanwhile, despite rising concerns out of North Korea and words of caution from the European Central Bank, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) finished higher after a few midday blips into negative territory.

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

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) beat the odds to close with a gain of 56 points, or 0.4%, at 14,606.11, following an intraday test of its 10-day moving average. Of the Dow's 30 components, 25 closed in positive territory, led by Hewlett-Packard ( HPQ ), which tacked on 1.8% following a pair of analysts' upgrades this morning. International Business Machines ( IBM ) and Alcoa ( AA ) paced the five decliners, giving back 0.6% each.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX) had a winning day as well, adding 6.3 points, or 0.4%, to 1,559.98, a hair above its own 10-day moving average. Finally, after spending much of the day in negative territory, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) managed to settle higher, up 6.4 points, or 0.2%, closing at 3,224.98.

It was an odd day for the CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX), which spiked to an intraday high of 14.79 -- up 4.1% from Wednesday's close -- before closing off 0.3 point, down 2.3% at 13.89.

CLOSING SUMMARY - INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY - NYSE AND NASDAQ

A Trader's Take :

"The decision by the Bank of Japan to launch its own massive quantitative easing program helped buoy our markets," Venosa observed. "Also, the basic materials sector -- which has been beaten down the most this year -- helped lead the markets higher today."

3 Things to Know About Today's Market :

5 Stocks We Were Watching Today :

  1. Sirius XM Radio ( SIRI ) bears bet on a sharp decline over the longer term.
  2. Citigroup (C) optimists expect a bounce higher by the end of Friday's trading.
  3. Netflix (NFLX) call buyers took a very short-term view .
  4. Applied Materials (AMAT) saw a shift in direction among short-term option traders.
  5. First Solar (FSLR) option pits were crowded with put buyers and put sellers .

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 :

A four-month high in U.S. jobless claims, together with dreary remarks from European Central Bank (ECB) leader Mario Draghi, combined forces to pressure oil into the red. By the close, May-dated oil futures were off $1.19, or 1.3%, at $93.26 per barrel.

Gold also shifted lower on the day, though the precious metal did bounce back from its intraday low. June gold futures settled with a loss of $1.10, or 0.1%, at $1,552.40 per ounce.

SCHAEFFER'S MARKET POSTURE

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