Manufacturing Miss Spooks Bulls to Start the Quarter

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) fell to open the second quarter. Disappointing manufacturing data was the culprit, after a key index indicated that U.S. manufacturing growth slowed by an unexpectedly steep margin in March. Still, the Dow hit a new all-time intraday high early in the session, and construction spending data showed that the housing market is still perking up.

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

  • A potential lawsuit against Ford Motor Company ( F ) brought out the option bears.
  • A surprisingly positive report from electric car maker Tesla Motors ( TSLA ) attracted a flurry of bullish options trades .
  • How both bearish and bullish option traders took a short-term view on Facebook ( FB ) .


  • A slow start to the second quarter, a mixed bag of economic data, and Research In Motion ( BBRY ) caught the fancy of bullish options traders.

Soured by weaker-than-expected manufacturing data, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) fell nearly 6 points, or less than 0.1%, to close at 14,572.85 -- but not before setting a new record high of 14,605.72 early in the session. The 30-member Dow saw 12 components increase, led by UnitedHealth Group ( UNH ), which climbed nearly 3.1 %. Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) fell 2.2% to lead the 18 decliners.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX) also got off to a slow start for the month, closing at 1,562.17, dropping 7 points, or 0.5%. Similar to the Dow, the SPX fell after tagging a new five-year high of 1,570.57 earlier in the day. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP) was down as well, finishing at 3,239.17, down more than 28 points, or 0.9%.

The CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX) gained 0.9 point, or 6.9%, to close at 13.58.


3 Things to Know About Today's Market :

5 Stocks We Were Watching Today :

  1. Short- and long-term bulls targeted Research In Motion ( BBRY ) after today's upbeat analyst note.
  2. Video game retailer GameStop (GME) found itself swarmed by options traders following its stellar earnings results.
  3. Bulls also bet on a strong week from General Motors (GM).
  4. A surge on the charts for American International Group (AIG) drew out call buyers looking for the trend to continue into this month.
  5. Bullish traders also looked for JetBlue Airways (JBLU) to continue to soar to new heights.

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


Commodities :

Oil futures fell slightly today, pushed lower by weaker-than-expected U.S. and Chinese manufacturing data. Oil for May delivery closed at $97.07 a barrel, down 16 cents, or 0.2%.

However, that same manufacturing data renewed gold's safe-haven appeal. June-dated gold climbed $5.20, or 0.3%, to finish at $1,600.90 per ounce.


At the end of every market day, the staff at Schaeffer's Investment Research reviews the trading day in detail, covering major events and key market developments. Don't miss this critical, timely and insightful report. If you enjoyed today's edition of Market Recap, sign up here for free daily delivery straight to your inbox.

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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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