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The Tech Sector Leads the Market Into the Red

By: Schaeffer's Investment Research
Posted: 5/6/2014 4:19:00 PM
Referenced Stocks: TSLA;TWTR;GRPN;YHOO;MRK

"There wasn't much market-moving news today," noted Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell, CMT, "but the S&P 500 Index (SPX) kept battling with the top of its recent trading range, and small-caps continued to underperform. One theme that played out today was the strength in the yen, which negatively affects those invested in the yen carry trade, and is another source of selling for this market." By the close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) had suffered a triple-digit pullback, bringing it solidly into losing territory for the week.

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 16,401.02) suffered a broad-based loss and ended just shy of its intraday nadir, off 129.5 points, or 0.8%. Pacing the Dow's 27 declining names was Merck & Co., Inc. ( MRK ), which surrendered 2.6% following the sale of its consumer-products division. Leading the index's trio of advancers was Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ), up 0.2% on the day.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,867.72) pulled below the widely cited 1,880 level to close down 16.9 points, or 0.9%, to settle at its low-water point of the day. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,080.76) was the day's underperformer, shedding 57.3 points, or 1.4%, by the closing bell, and also settling at its intraday low.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 13.80) spent nearly all of the session above the breakeven line as it marched toward the 14 level. By the close, the market's "fear gauge" had added 0.5 point, or 3.8%.



A Trader's Take :

"Today's market action was really more of the same," continued Bell. "We have struggled to enter any sort of trend during the past several weeks, and technology and small-caps continue their battle to stay afloat. With utilities and bonds remaining strong, it is clear investors are rotating money into the more defensive asset classes ahead of the summer."

5 Items on Our Radar Today :

  1. Both exports and imports rose in March, resulting in a 3.6% drop in the trade gap , to $40.4 billion from a downwardly revised $41.9 billion in February. The reading was just a hair north of economists' expectations. (FOX Business)
  2. TWTR took a toll on the tech sector today, after a lockup expired , making almost 500 million shares eligible for sale by company insiders. A sell-off ensued, sending the shares to their lowest point on record, or $31.72. By the day's end, TWTR had suffered a 17.8% loss to $31.85. (CNBC)
  3. Yahoo! Inc. ( YHOO ) call options flew off the shelves in anticipation of the Alibaba IPO filing.
  4. AOL, Inc. (AOL) and Keurig Green Mountain Inc (GMCR) are among the names with earnings reports scheduled for tomorrow.
  5. Meanwhile, Groupon Inc ( GRPN ) weekly options buyers expressed optimism ahead of the company's turn in the earnings confessional tonight.


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



Commodities :

June-dated crude futures peeked above the century mark in intraday trading, but ultimately pared their gain to 2 cents to end at $99.50 per barrel. Elsewhere, natural gas for June delivery soared 2.4% to $4.80 per million British thermal units, after the Energy Information Administration upped its price forecasts for 2014 and 2015.

Gold futures backpedaled from a three-week peak, despite escalating violence in Ukraine. By the close, the June contract gave up 70 cents, or 0.1%, to finish at $1,308.60 an ounce.