"The JPMorgan ( JPM ) news really came out of nowhere, and simply added to the overall uncertainty that is already out there," stated Schaeffer's Senior Technical Strategist Ryan Detrick. "At the same time, the S&P 500 Index ( SPX ) made its lows for the session right at the open, and it finished off those levels. So, that was some decent news, given how bad the JPM mess appeared." The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) endured the same kind of fate today, finishing above its session low.
Keep reading to see what else was on our radar today:
- Despite the JPM-inspired weakness in multi-national banks, regional lenders fared quite well .
- Is the recent drop in bullish sentiment a good thing for the market?
- Plus, our very own Bernie Schaeffer weighed in on the hidden risks of under-committing .
And now, a look at the numbers...
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 12,820.60) spent time on both sides of breakeven today, but ultimately ended down 34.4 points, or 0.3%. Eighteen of its 30 components closed lower, as JPMorgan ( JPM ) paced the laggards with a 9.3% drop. Verizon ( VZ ) led the 12 winning issues with an analyst-induced jump of 1.5%. The blue-chip barometer suffered a 1.7% deficit for the week.
The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,353.39) peeled back 4.6 points, or 0.3%, by the closing bell. But the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 2,933.82) fared the best of its fellow benchmarks, and inched fractionally higher. Over the past five days, the SPX fell 1.1%, while the COMP turned in a 0.8% decline.
The CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 19.89) stayed below the 20 mark today, but closed up 5.6%, to land just under its session high of 19.94. The market's fear gauge ticked up 3.8% for the week.
Today's highlight : "When you consider all that hit the market this week -- from continued euro-zone issues to the Cisco ( CSCO ) and JPM bombs -- we were rather impressed by the overall resilience," said Detrick. "Sure, the SPX was down about 1% on the week, but it just hammered home to us how very low the overall expectations are with the market at this juncture."
Detrick continued, "As Bernie Schaeffer mentioned in an internal email earlier today, if the market has held up this well amid all of the drama at home and abroad this week, 'not too much fantasy is needed to conclude it could soar if the overseas situation stabilizes.'"
Turning to today's major market stories...
- The latest American Association of Individual Investors (AAII) poll showed a huge slide in bullish sentiment .
- Columnist Adam Warner explained why the VIX could be signaling a flat ride for the market .
- U.S. Bancorp ( USB ), Zions Bancorp (ZION), and PNC Financial (PNC) are standouts among the regional banking sector.
- After CSCO's disappointing guidance, contrarians could find appealing plays with network communications issues Motorola Solutions (MSI), Acme Packet (APKT), and Polycom (PLCM) .
- Analysts weighed in on retailers Best Buy (BBY) and Dillard's (DDS) .
- Bullish sentiment remained high on besieged Peabody Energy (BTU).
- Salesforce.com (CRM) and Home Depot (HD) saw an uptick in pre-earnings options activity.
- New highs and new lows: Alere (ALR) and VZ made record-breaking moves in today's session.
- And in case you missed it: Bernie Schaeffer penned a guest column in Barron's about risk and investment strategy selection .
For today's activity in commodities, options, and more, head to page 2.
After scoring its only win of the week in Thursday's session, oil futures slouched today to their lowest close of the year. Weak industrial growth data out of China added to ongoing demand concerns, which weighed on the commodity. Crude for June delivery dipped 95 cents, or 1%, to land at $96.13 a barrel. Oil gave up 2.4% for the week.
Gold futures were pressured lower today on the heels of remarkably tame inflation data, with wholesale prices rising at the slowest pace in two years. June-dated gold sawed off $11.50, or 0.7%, to close at $1,584 an ounce -- its lowest settlement of 2012. For the week, the precious metal lost 3.7%.
Levels to Watch in Trading :
- Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 12,820.60) - support at 11,500; resistance at 14,000
- S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,353.39) - support at 1,100; resistance at 1,500
- Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 2,933.82) - support at 2,400; resistance at 3,400
For today's notable annual highs and lows, click here .
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