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Dow Falters, S&P 500 Hits Record Intraday High

By: Schaeffer's Investment Research
Posted: 10/21/2013 4:26:00 PM
Referenced Stocks: COH;GE;GOOG;KORS;MCD

"After an incredibly strong week, today's attention was back on individual company earnings reports, and overall, the price action was mixed," noted Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell, CMT. "A bit of consolidation here makes sense, as many market participants may wait for better entry opportunities." Against this backdrop, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) closed south of breakeven, while the S&P 500 Index (SPX) reached a new technical milestone.

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


Aside from a few brief blips higher, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 15,392.20) spent most of the day in the red, and touched a session low of 15,362.66 around 11:00 a.m. ET. By the closing bell, the index was off 7.5 points, or 0.1%. General Electric ( GE ) led the Dow's 13 advancers, extending its post-earnings gains with a 2.3% rise, while Boeing (BA) paced the 17 decliners with a loss of 0.9%.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,744.66) was also parked in negative territory for much of the session, but still managed to tag a record intraday peak of 1,747.79. By day's end, the index was up 0.2 point, or 0.01% -- enough to reach another all-time closing high. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 3,920.05) touched a 13-year intraday high of 3,931.45, and added 5.8 points, or 0.2%, by the close.

Elsewhere, the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 13.16) spiked higher right out of the gate, but pared its gains throughout the afternoon. Still, the "fear barometer" added 0.1 point, or 0.9%, for the session.



A Trader's Take :

"Technology stocks once again took a leadership role, something investors are getting used to," Bell went on. "Shares of Apple (AAPL) helped boost the sector today, as the equity continues its strong momentum that began in mid-September."

3 Things to Know About Today's Market :

5 Stocks We Were Watching Today :

  1. As Apple (AAPL) prepares to report quarterly earnings next week, the stock scored some bullish analyst attention this morning.
  2. Traders bet on a move higher for General Motors (GM) over the next few months by picking up December- and January-dated calls.
  3. With earnings looming on the horizon, call volume ramped up on Sprint (S) -- particularly in the front-months series of options.
  4. TiVo's (TIVO) positive price action triggered a flurry of call activity from option bulls -- or, potentially, hedging short sellers.
  5. A new record high for Google ( GOOG ) prompted speculators to scoop up the search-engine giant's weekly calls in hopes of further gains.


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



Commodities :

Crude futures finished at their lowest price since July 1, after the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) revealed a larger-than-expected increase in oil supplies for the week ended Oct. 11. By the close, the November contract shed $1.59, or 1.6%, to end at $99.22 per barrel.

Conversely, gold futures climbed higher today, as traders nervously anticipated the release of September's nonfarm payrolls data. December-dated gold tacked on $1.20, or 0.1%, to finish at $1,315.80 an ounce.