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Stocks Fight Their Way Into the Black, But Fail to Reach New All-Time Highs

By: Schaeffer's Investment Research
Posted: 7/17/2013 4:23:00 PM
Referenced Stocks: AMD;AXP;DD;GE;GOOG

Mixed news out of Washington -- on Capitol Hill and from the Commerce Department -- inspired a choppy day of trading, where the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) vacillated on either side of breakeven, particularly as the closing bell approached. When all was said and done, though, the bulls proved victorious, with the blue-chip index tacking on 18.7 points.

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

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 15,470.52) finished a roller-coaster session with a gain of 18.7 points, or 0.1%. Eighteen of the Dow's 30 blue chips settled in the black, led by DuPont ( DD ), which gained 5.3% on news of a large stake from Nelson Peltz. Meanwhile, American Express ( AXP ) paced the 11 decliners, shedding 1.9%, while Pfizer (PFE) finished flat.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,680.91) added 4.7 points, or 0.3%, by the bell, marking the index's ninth gain in 10 sessions. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 3,610.00) fared the best of the three, advancing 11.5 points, or 0.3%, after notching a new 12-year high of 3,615.79 earlier in the session.

The CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 13.78) surrendered its short-lived perch north of 14, giving up 0.6 point, or 4.4%.

CLOSING SUMMARY - INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY - NYSE AND NASDAQ

3 Things to Know About Today's Market :

5 Stocks We Were Watching Today :

  1. Short-term call buyers descended upon General Electric ( GE ) , with earnings due Friday morning.
  2. Options trading activity spiked on Tesla Motors (TSLA) following Tuesday's plunge in the shares.
  3. One Micron Technology (MU) bull placed a large long-term trade.
  4. After its earnings release, Yahoo! (YHOO) was greeted with several price-target hikes.
  5. Hopeful call buyers targeted a long-term recovery in Barrick Gold (ABX) shares.

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 :

In response to a larger-than-expected drop in crude inventories last week, oil futures muscled higher today. By the close, August-dated crude had gained 48 cents, or 0.5%, to settle at $106.48 per barrel.

Gold was not as fortunate, moving modestly lower as investors digested Bernanke's remarks before Congress. Gold for August delivery lost $12.90, or 1%, to close at $1,277.50 an ounce.

SCHAEFFER'S MARKET POSTURE