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Not a Pretty Week on Wall Street as Markets Consolidate
By: Schaeffer's Investment Research
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) AAPL
- Bearish speculation ramped up on these three big-name equities.
- Here's a sign that expectations for increased volatility are at multi-year highs.
- Plus, your Option Idea of the Week is a bearish play on Skyworks Solutions ( SWKS ).
Chart of the Day : Seven reasons why Tony thinks Lions Gate Entertainment ( LGF ) looks ready to power higher. And now, a look at the numbers...
At its intraday high of 13,151.72, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 13,107.21) was up more than 48 points, but struggled to maintain a lead throughout the session. By the close, the Dow eked out a slim victory of 3.5 points -- posting its second day in a row above the 13,100 level. Thirteen of the 30 blue chips ended with wins, as Intel Corporation ( INTC ) topped the list with a 1.2% gain. On the contrary, the 17 laggards were paced by Bank of America Corp's ( BAC ) 1.3% loss. On a weekly basis, the Dow retreated 1.8%
The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,411.94) and Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 2,987.95) parked on opposite sides of breakeven today, ending very close to where they started. The SPX stayed just atop its 80-day moving average, but gave back 1 point, or less than 0.1%. Meanwhile, COMP bounced from its 200-day trendline, inching higher by 1.8 points, or less than 0.1%. For the week, the SPX sawed off 1.5%, while the COMP fell 0.6%.
The CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 17.81) lost 0.3 point, or 1.7%, and gave up its short-lived perch atop the 18 level, though its 200-day moving average continued to offer support. As the equities markets turned lower for the week, the VIX jumped 4.4%.
Noteworthy stats at the close:
- The equity put/call volume ratio across all 10 options exchanges ended at 0.87, with roughly 7.44 million calls and 6.53 million puts traded.
- The put/call volume ratio on the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (NYSEARCA:VXX - 36.30) checked in at 0.85, with calls outpacing puts.
- The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) showed an advance/decline ratio of 0.70, as the number of upward movers were overshadowed by the decliners. Likewise, the advance/decline ratio on the Nasdaq stood at 0.71.
More of today's big stories:
- Schaeffer's Quantitative Analyst Chris Prybal examined the recent surge in portfolio protection by market participants .
- Most-Active Options Update : Apple Inc. ( AAPL ), Sprint Nextel Corporation (S), and Caterpillar Inc. (CAT).
- As earnings loom, options players ramped up their positions on Pfizer Inc. (PFE) and QUALCOMM, Inc. (QCOM) .
- Expedia Inc (EXPE) and Coinstar, Inc. (CSTR) attracted post-earnings brokerage attention
- Shareholders could be using puts to protect their stance on AOL, Inc. (AOL) .
For today's activity in commodities, options, and more, head to page 2.
After trading on both sides of breakeven, oil futures settled with modest gains today. A relatively upbeat round of domestic data tipped the scales in the bulls' favor, as did "Frankenstorm"-related production concerns. By the close, December-dated crude tacked on 23 cents, or 0.3%, to end at $86.28 per barrel. For the week, however, black gold suffered a drop of 4.2%.
Gold futures, on the other hand, erased early gains to finish in the red. By the time the dust settled, gold for December delivery fell $1.10, or less than 0.1%, to end at $1,711.90 an ounce. For the week, the malleable metal surrendered 0.7%, marking its third straight weekly drop.
Levels to watch in trading...
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 13,107.21)
- support at 11,500; resistance at 14,000
S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,411.94)
- support at 1,100; resistance at 1,500
- Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 2,987.95) - support at 2,400; resistance at 3,400
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.