Dow Waffles Near Breakeven, But Closes at a Record High

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"Citigroup ( C ) announced some solid earnings, and this came on the heels of better-than-expected data out of China," said Schaeffer's Senior Technical Strategist Ryan Detrick, CMT. "Although it's still early in earnings season, the results so far are looking very strong. The usual concerns have been revenues and outlooks, and so far, so good. Sure, we are only in the first inning of a nine-inning game, but it does look like the bar was once again too low." For the majority of the session, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) was parked just north of breakeven before climbing higher toward the end of the day to settle at another all-time closing peak.

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

  • Schaeffer's Senior Trading Analyst Bryan Sapp reflects on an "old market mantra" and explains why Nokia ( NOK ) could be ripe for the picking.
  • A closer look at three outperforming stocks with notable increases in short interest .
  • Tesla Motors ( TSLA ) and Oracle ( ORCL ) played musical chairs in The Week Ahead , while Dell ( DELL ) prepares for a major shareholder meeting.


    Retail sales showed sluggish growth in June, Citigroup ( C ) basked in the earnings limelight, and Facebook (FB) was hit with some negative brokerage attention.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 15,484.26) spent a large portion of the session hovering above breakeven before moving slightly higher by late afternoon. At the close, the Dow was up 20 points, or 0.1%, managing to end the day with a new record high. The blue-chip barometer's 12 advancers were led by Boeing's (BA) 3.7% gain, while Walt Disney (DIS) paced the 18 laggards with a loss of 1.6%.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,682.50) also reached a new all-time closing peak, adding 2.3 points, or 0.1%. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 3,607.49) rose to another 12-year intraday high of 3,609.59 before settling slightly off this peak with a gain of 7.4 points, or 0.2%.

The CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 13.79) finished below the 14 level for second consecutive session, losing 0.1 point, or 0.4%.

A Trader's Take :

"What can you say, more new highs across the board," commented Detrick. "The S&P 500 is now up eight days in a row, and the PowerShares QQQ Trust (QQQ) is up a record 14 days in a row. Sure, we are very overbought in the near term, but leadership from small-caps and tech stocks is very healthy. Remember, early in the year the leadership came from places like utilities and healthcare. Nothing wrong with that, but healthy bull markets tend to see leadership from areas that are more aggressive. That is what we're seeing now."

3 Things to Know About Today's Market :

  • The Commerce Department said retail sales rose by a seasonally adjusted 0.4% in June, thanks to higher gas prices and strong demand in the auto sector. However, the latest figure disappointed economists, who were expecting an increase of 0.8%. (Reuters)
  • The New York Fed's Empire State manufacturing index arrived at 9.46 in July -- up from last month's figure of 7.84, and easily besting consensus estimates for a reading of 5.00. (CNBC)
  • Banking giant Citigroup ( C ) reported a second-quarter profit of $4.18 billion, which was a 42% increase from the year-ago period. Excluding items, earnings came in at $1.25 per share, topping economists' projections for a profit of $1.17. Meanwhile, revenue climbed by 12% to $20.5 billion. (The Wall Street Journal, login required)

5 Stocks We Were Watching Today :

  1. Analysts at Pivotal Research downwardly revised their rating on social networking site Facebook (FB) .
  2. Bulls are betting on Barrick Gold (ABX) to climb higher following the release of its quarterly earnings report in August.
  3. News out of China prompted speculators to zero in on First Solar's (FSLR) July calls.
  4. AT&T (T) saw its price target trimmed at Evercore following the company's acquisition news.
  5. Pre-earnings call buyers rolled the dice on Cisco Systems (CSCO) , while the stock tagged yet another new multi-year high.

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

Commodities :

Crude oil futures muscled higher today, courtesy of some well-received economic data out of China . August-dated oil futures tacked on 37 cents, or 0.4%, to close at $106.32 per barrel.

Meanwhile, gold futures recovered from Friday's decline, marking a fifth daily gain in the past six sessions. The August-dated contract added $5.90, or 0.5%, to settle at $1,283.50 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.

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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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