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Dow Bounces on Light Volume from Two-Day Sell-Off

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"After one of the worst days in months, the market snapped back today," noted Schaeffer's Senior Technical Strategist Ryan Detrick, CMT. "The issues over Syria are still out there, but without any new developments, the bulls took charge. Of course, volume is still incredibly light and it is tough to put much stock in the move." Still, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) muscled steadily higher throughout the session, and closed with respectable gains.

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


    The U.N. convened to discuss Syria, JPMorgan Chase ( JPM ) got hit with more potential fines, and call buyers descended on Intel ( INTC ).

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 14,824.51) traded north of breakeven for nearly all of the lightly traded session, paring a modest portion of yesterday's 170-point loss. Though the blue-chip index peaked at 14,867.40 in the final hour of trading, some eleventh-hour selling left the Dow up just 48.4 points, or 0.3%. Hewlett-Packard ( HPQ ) led the index's 20 advancers with a gain of 2.8%, while Procter & Gamble (PG) brought up the rear, dropping 1.4%.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,634.96) behaved in similar fashion, gaining ground throughout the session until just before the close. By the time the dust settled, the index was up 4.5 points, or 0.3%. Elsewhere, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 3,593.35) trekked 14.8 points higher, gaining 0.4%.

The CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 16.49) slid modestly lower on the heels of its highest close since late July. The market's "fear barometer" gave back 0.3 point, or 1.7%, on the day.

A Trader's Take :

"The best part about today," mused Detrick, "was that we're a day closer to September, when trading desks will be fully staffed. In the end, the Russell 2000 Index (RUT) bounced off the psychologically significant 1,000 level, which I continue to think is huge. It was resistance until an early July breakout, and now it should serve as strong support. So far, so good."

3 Things to Know About Today's Market :

  • The National Association of Realtors reported that its pending home sales index slid 1.3% from the previous month to 109.5, which was a slightly wider drop than economists were expecting. On a year-over-year basis, however, sales rose 6.7%. (Los Angeles Times)
  • The U.N. Security Council convened to discuss authorization for military strikes against Syria. Russia and China, who hold veto power, have advised the U.S. not to move forward with missile strikes before first gaining U.N. clearance. (NBCNews)
  • The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) is looking to collect at least $6 billion in fines from JPMorgan Chase ( JPM ). The regulator maintains the banking giant knowingly sold Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bad mortgages, resulting in billions of dollars in losses. (New York Post)

5 Stocks We Were Watching Today :

  1. Following yesterday's turn in the earnings confessional, Tiffany & Co (TIF) received a price-target hike at Deutsche Bank this morning.
  2. Near-term option bulls swooped down on Ford (F) ahead of its August sales report, due for release next week.
  3. TiVo's (TIVO) upbeat second-quarter earnings results didn't stop Janney from lowering its price target for the stock.
  4. Pessimistic speculators wagered on a longer-term decline for Hewlett-Packard ( HPQ ) , despite the security's technical prowess.
  5. Intel ( INTC ) attracted front-month and weekly call players, with both groups counting on short-term gains.

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

Commodities :

Crude futures surged on continued Syria-related jitters, dismissing news of an unexpected increase in weekly stockpiles. By the close, October-dated oil had gained $1.09, or 1%, to $110.10 per barrel, the highest close in more than two years.

Elsewhere, however, gold futures edged slightly lower after yesterday's safe-haven bounce. The December-dated gold contract fell just $1.40, or 0.1%, to settle at $1,418.80 an ounce.

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

All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized reproduction of any SIR publication is strictly prohibited.

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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