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Techs Bounce Back, but Dow Closes Modestly Lower

By: Schaeffer's Investment Research
Posted: 1/16/2013 4:21:00 PM
Referenced Stocks: AAPL;BA;HPQ;INTC;YELP

"Seriously, the market is very boring here," sighed Schaeffer's Senior Technical Strategist Ryan Detrick, CMT. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) was again confined to a relatively tight range of fewer than 70 points, and closed with a modest loss. Meanwhile, the tech sector rebounded from yesterday's down day to settle slightly higher. "Days like this remind me of the old Wall Street adage 'Never short a dull market,'" Detrick said. "The past four days have been about as dull as possible, so keep that in mind here."

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

plus...

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) gave back nearly all of yesterday's gains, ending the session with a loss of 24 points, or 0.2%, but holding atop its 10-day moving average. Still, 13 of the 30 Dow components were in positive territory by the close, paced by Hewlett-Packard ( HPQ ) -- which had brought up the rear on Tuesday but closed 4.1% higher today. Boeing ( BA ), meanwhile, came in last place with a 3.4% drop, thanks to continued issues with the Dreamliner aircraft.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX) was little changed, eking out a 0.3-point gain. The index's annual high once again proved insurmountable in intraday trading. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP) was the bright spot among its index peers, adding 7 points, or 0.2%.

The CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX) lost steam throughout the morning after starting out in positive territory. After touching a new multi-year low of 13.20 around midday, the index closed with a loss of 0.1 point, or 1%.

CLOSING SUMMARY - INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY - NYSE AND NASDAQ

A Trader's Take :

"There is a running joke that Apple ( AAPL ) is the new 'inverse ETF,' and sure enough, AAPL had a nice up day today, while the Dow was in the red," Detrick quipped. "This came on the heels of a nice rally in the Dow, when AAPL was falling just about every day. Meanwhile, I've heard lots of talk lately," he continued, "about how sentiment is getting overly bullish. While there are definitely some pockets of optimism out there, it's hard to argue with the overall price action."

3 Things to Know About Today's Market :

Plus ... gear-heads are headed to Detroit for the North American International Auto Show, which opens to the public on Saturday. Among the highly anticipated wheeled offerings are the first new Corvette in almost a decade, and a Jeep Grand Cherokee that will be the only American-made S.U.V. with a diesel engine.

Today's Top Tweet :

"no guru, no matter how gifted, stays perfect too long. as fame attracts the flock, his views spur convention & the arb vanishes like söze $$"
@ppearlman, (Phil Pearlman), 11:24 a.m.

5 Stocks We Were Watching Today :

  1. Short-term bearish traders descended on Salesforce.com (CRM).
  2. Yelp ( YELP ) was hit with a brokerage downgrade ahead of the opening bell.
  3. Meanwhile, Facebook (FB) enjoyed multiple price-target hikes following yesterday's announcement of a new search tool.
  4. LinkedIn (LNKD) shareholders could be buying puts to protect their recent gains.
  5. E*Trade Financial (NASDASQ:ETFC) bulls bet on a move into double-digit territory.

EARNINGS

Question of the Day :

Q : I've heard some traders refer to delta as the "hedge ratio." What does this mean?
A : Since an option's delta is thought to roughly correspond with its chances of expiring in the money, traders use delta as a guideline for hedging their positions. Let's say you write a call option with a delta of 0.50, or a 50% chance of finishing in the money (in theory). Using this as your "hedge ratio," you might choose to hedge only half of your potential loss by purchasing 50 shares of the underlying stock. If your option's delta rises to 0.70, you could build your hedge to 70 shares -- and so on.

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

STOCKS - NOTABLE CALL ACTIVITY

STOCKS - NOTABLE PUT ACTIVITY

Commodities :

Oil futures muscled higher today, thanks to a surprise decline in domestic stockpiles. The February contract rose by 96 cents, or 1%, to end at $94.24 per barrel, which was near a four-month high. Gold, however, lost momentum, as February-dated futures dropped 70 cents to settle at $1,683.20 per ounce.

SCHAEFFER'S MARKET POSTURE

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