Dow Battles for a Win as Fed-Induced Excitement Wanes
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
rallied more than 140 points during this morning's highly
anticipated speech by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke before
Congress. However, as the day wore on, things took a downturn and
the lion's share of these gains was pared by the closing bell.
"After yesterday's huge rally, it was nice that we didn't quickly
give back all of those gains," stated Schaeffer's Senior Technical
Strategist Ryan Detrick. "On the other hand, it was a peculiar day
as small caps and tech stocks significantly lagged their big-cap
brothers. Couple this with the financial weakness, and I think it's
safe to say we still have a very jittery market."
Keep reading to see what else was on our radar today:
- Three contrarian ideas from the pharmaceuticals sector: AGN, PFE, and PRGO.
- A crack in the safe: big banking firms could see bigger deficits .
- Plus, did the bears get trapped by the SPX's bounce?
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 12,460.96) weathered a 138-point swing today -- from a session peak of 12,555.26 to a late-session low of 12,416.53 -- to land with a 46.2-point, or 0.4%, gain by the time the dust settled. Sixteen of the 30 blue-chips closed higher, as United Technologies ( UTX ) led the outperformers with a 2.4% jump. Bank of America ( BAC ) paced the 13 laggards with a 2.9% loss, while Johnson & Johnson ( JNJ ) remained unchanged.
The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,314.99) also saw a very up-and-down session, but ultimately inched fractionally lower by the closing bell. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 2,831.02) mirrored the SPX's performance, and settled with a larger 13.7-point, or 0.5%, loss.
The CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 21.72) continued its recent decline, notching its fourth down day in a row. The VIX fell nearly 2% lower and ended well above its session low of 20.74, and just atop its 32-day moving average.
Today's highlight : "China got things started with the surprise rate cut this morning, but Fed. Chairman Ben Bernanke didn't give much of a hint one way or the other regarding any quantitative easing (QE3) or a continued Operation Twist -- and by the end of the day we were well off the highs," said Detrick. "Also, it's worth noting that financials significantly lagged all day, finishing in the red and near their lows."
Turning to today's major market stories...
- Ryan Detrick examined why big banks could be at risk for a deeper decline .
- Chinese Internet outfit SINA Corporation ( SINA ) and telecom issue Juniper Networks ( JNPR ) were tapped with ratings adjustments in today's action.
- Dow heavyweights Walt Disney (DIS) and AT&T (T) jumped to new annual highs today.
- An options trader used covered calls to protect his portfolio position on United Parcel Service (UPS) .
- Options strategists initiated a short-term bull call spread on GameStop (GME) and a three-pronged credit spread on Advanced Micro Devices (AMD).
- Bullish bettors are looking for a long-term turnaround for Bank of America ( BAC ) .
- Navistar International (NAV) saw an uptick in after-earnings options volume .
- Bearish traders just can't quit Apple (AAPL) .
- Contrarians could find a healthy way to trade biotech firms Allergan (AGN), Pfizer (PFE), and Perrigo Company (PRGO) .
For today's activity in commodities, options, and more, head to page 2.
Oil futures couldn't keep their three-day streak of wins alive, and ultimately took a hit today following Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's decision to not take immediate action to stimulate the economy. But Bernanke did say the central bank is "prepared to take action" should the economy dry up. By the close, July-dated crude pulled back 20 cents, or 0.2%, to end at $84.82 a barrel.
Gold futures took a dive today on an unexpected rate cut in China and Ben Bernanke's somewhat vague comments about future monetary stimulus. Gold for August delivery lopped off $46.20, or 2.8%, to land at $1,588.00 an ounce.
Levels to Watch in Trading :
- Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 12,460.96) - support at 11,500; resistance at 14,000
- S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,314.99) - support at 1,100; resistance at 1,500
- Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 2,831.02) - support at 2,400; resistance at 3,400
For today's notable annual highs and lows, click here .
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.