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Tapering Suggestions Weigh on the Markets Yet Again

By: Schaeffer's Investment Research
Posted: 9/20/2013 4:28:00 PM
Referenced Stocks: AAPL;BBRY;BBY;FB;PFE

"We experienced a pretty steady decline today that was relatively broad based," said Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell, CMT. "One key piece of news was out of Washington, where the House of Representatives passed a resolution to fund the government through Dec. 15. While it may seem like good news on the surface, most participants see very little chance of it passing through the Senate." Also weighing on the markets were comments by St. Louis Fed President James Bullard, who suggested the Fed could start tapering at its meeting next month. As a result, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) finished the day in the red -- but still managed a weekly advance.

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


The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 15,451.09) was parked north of breakeven for less than 30 minutes this morning, and then proceeded to drop throughout the day, touching a session low of 15,448.09 just before the close. By the end, the index shed 185.5 points, or 1.2%. On a weekly basis, however, the blue-chip barometer added 0.5%. The Dow's three advancers were led by Pfizer's ( PFE ) 0.5% gain, while Caterpillar (CAT) paced the 27 decliners with a drop of 3.4%.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,709.91) suffered the same fate as its blue-chip brethren, and sank to its own intraday low of 1,708.89 near the end of trading. By the closing bell, the SPX was down 12.4 points, or 0.7%. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 3,774.73) shaved off 14.7 points, or 0.4%. For the week, the indexes tacked on 1.3% and 1.4%, respectively.

Elsewhere, the CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 13.12) experienced a notable drop this morning, but recovered later in the day to finish less than 0.1 point, or 0.3%, lower. The "fear gauge" lost 7.3% on the week.



A Trader's Take :

"During a day like this, it pays to take a step back and appreciate just how impressive the market has been in September so far," Bell mused. "After an incredibly strong rally to start the month, a little profit taking was bound to happen sooner or later."

3 Things to Know About Today's Market :

5 Stocks We Were Watching Today :

  1. An upbeat brokerage note for Facebook ( FB ) triggered a flurry of call activity, but not all of it was of the bullish variety.
  2. Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) lured longer-term put sellers to the trading table, amid the security's notable year-to-date gains.
  3. On its last day as a Dow component, Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) received some lukewarm coverage at Cantor Fitzerald.
  4. Zynga (ZNGA) -- which is trending higher this month -- saw a spike in soon-to-be front-month call volume.
  5. The latest Option Idea of the Week offers up a bullish trading idea for under-the-radar Regal Entertainment (RGC) .


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



Commodities :

Crude futures fell again today, as reports of expanded oil production in Libya further eased anxieties regarding crude supplies in the Middle East. By the close, November-dated oil -- the new front-month contract -- dropped $1.11, or 1.1%, to end at $104.75 per barrel. On a weekly basis, crude shed 3.2% (when comparing front-month contracts).

Meanwhile, gold futures took a breather from their Fed-induced rally, backing off of yesterday's notable high. Gold for December delivery declined $36.80, or 2.7%, to finish at $1,332.50 an ounce, but still managed a weekly advance of 1.8%.