Another Wide Trading Range Resolves Slightly Lower

"Despite the scary open, it was encouraging to see equities grow stronger through the end of the day," noted Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell, CMT. "The intraday reversal had to be the best thing about today's market." The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) started Thursday's session well below breakeven -- hitting an intraday low of 15,180.23 -- but emerged in positive territory about two hours before the close, ultimately ending with a minor loss.

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


    Asian markets take a plunge, housing numbers continue to surge, and Pandora Media ( P ) bulls bet big before tonight's earnings.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) traded in another wide range, from 15,180.23 a half-hour after the opening bell, to 15,348.41 roughly an hour before the close. While the bears ultimately claimed victory, it was a modest one, as the index dropped just 12.7 points, or 0.08%, to close at 15,294.50. Nine of the index's 30 members moved higher, with Hewlett-Packard ( HPQ ) rocketing up 17% after its well-received earnings report . At the back of the pack, pacing the 21 decliners, was Alcoa ( AA ), down 1.7% today.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX) didn't manage to hit another new all-time high today (for the first day in five), and in fact closed down 4.8 points, or 0.3%, at 1,650.51. This was well off its intraday low, however, of 1,635.53. Elsewhere, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) edged down 3.9 points, or 0.1%, to settle at 3,459.42.

All of the market movement drove the CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX) up 1.8%, or 0.3 point, to 14.07. It was the fear barometer's first close above 14 since May 1.


A Trader's Take :

"Initial weakness on overseas price action was followed by a steady rebound throughout the day," summarized Bell. "This allowed most stocks to finish well off their lows and near or above breakeven. The initial jobless claims report helped matters, as it dropped back down below 350,000 -- a good sign for the labor market."

3 Things to Know About Today's Market :

  • U.S. markets struggled in early trading due to market malaise in the Far East. Japan's Nikkei dropped more than 7% -- its worst single-day pullback in two years -- while the preliminary HSBC China Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) dipped below 50, revealing a drop in factory activity in the world's second-biggest economy. (The Wall Street Journal)
  • Initial jobless claims declined by more than expected , falling 23,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 340,000. The smoothed-out four-week moving average inched down 500 to 339,500, just shy of a five-year low. (USA Today)
  • New home sales rose by 2.3% last month (and surged 29% on a year-over-year basis) to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 454,000. The median sales price for new homes was $271,600 last month, and inventory held firm at a 4.1-month supply. (Los Angeles Times)

5 Stocks We Were Watching Today :

  1. Pandora Media ( P ) call buyers bet big on a post-earnings rally .
  2. Hewlett-Packard ( HPQ ) enjoyed a healthy dose of bullish brokerage attention this morning after its quarterly earnings report last night.
  3. One put buyer scooped up 5,000 out-of-the-money LEAPS in Bank of America (BAC).
  4. Western Digital (WDC) option bears continue to bet against the uptrend .
  5. Long-term bears flocked to Ford Motor Company (F) today, in a departure from recent trends.

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


Commodities :

Oil futures barely budged today, as traders weighed gloomy Chinese data against a pair of stronger-than-forecast reports on the U.S. economy. Crude oil for July delivery lost just 3 cents to end at $94.25 per barrel.

Gold futures bolted higher, supported by a steep downturn in the U.S. dollar. August-dated gold -- the most active contract -- climbed $24.40, or 1.8%, to finish at $1,392.80 per ounce.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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