Markets Tag New Highs Despite Low Volume

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"Today was what we call a coffee day -- nothing happened, and you'd have been better off just drinking coffee," quipped Schaeffer's Senior Technical Strategist Ryan Detrick, CMT, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) climbed slightly, setting another intraday trading record despite light volume. "In the end, traders didn't want to make any big bets ahead of tomorrow's (U.S. Department of Labor) unemployment report tomorrow. We all know the stock market is doing great, but we need to see some signs of economic growth as well. That's why this jobs report is probably more important than the last few."

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


  • The Dow keeps climbing to new heights, surprisingly positive jobless claim numbers, and the rally from E*Trade Financial ( ETFC ) inspires new bullish option trading.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) continued its climb up the charts, setting another all-time intraday high of 14,354.69 on a rally that began after an optimistic jobless claims report. The Dow finished at 14,329.49, gaining 33 points, or 0.2%. The 30-member Dow saw 20 companies advance, led by Bank of America (BAC), which climbed 2.9%. The 10 decliners were led by Exxon Mobil (XOM), which fell nearly 1.0%.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX) climbed nearly 3 points, or 0.2%, to close at 1,544.26. The SPX also set another intraday annual high. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP) also advanced, gaining nearly 10 points, or 0.3%, to finish at 3,232.09.

The CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX) fell 0.5 point, or 3.5%, to close at 13.06.

A Trader's Take :

"The Nasdaq made a new 12-year high," Detrick noted. "Sure, the gains were muted and volume was a little light, but it's tough to complain about that. The market bottomed four years ago yesterday. Who in their right mind would have expected new multi-year highs four years ago today? Not many -- and if they say they did, they are lying."

3 Things to Know About Today's Market :

  • Initial jobless claims fell to what is nearly a five-year low, beating economists' predictions and showing modest growth in the job market. (Los Angeles Times)
  • Social networking giant Facebook ( FB ) unveiled its much anticipated (or dreaded) changes to its News Feed today, making photos (and possibly ads) more prevalent. (MarketWatch)
  • And the ongoing saga surrounding computer maker Dell (DELL) took another twist today, with the special committee investigating the possible $24.4 billion deal to take the company private disclosing that activist investor Carl Icahn was prepared for "years of litigation," were the deal to go through. (The New York Times)

5 Stocks We Were Watching Today :

  1. Online brokerage firm E*Trade Financial ( ETFC ) has rallied recently, and option traders took notice with a new swarm of long-term calls today.
  2. Another band of bullish traders bet that Molycorp Inc (MCP) would have a strong finish to the week.
  3. A big earnings adjustment and stock rally had bulls also looking to cash in next week on Ciena Corporation (CIEN).
  4. Computer video chip maker NVIDIA Corporation (NVDA) also saw a bevy of short-term call trading in the wake of a recent recovery.
  5. Solar power concern Suntech Power Holdings (STP) saw a flurry of short-term put trading.

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

Commodities :

Oil prices rose on a weaker dollar and falling jobless claims, with the April crude contract finishing up $1.13, or 1.3%, at $91.56 per barrel, not far from its intraday peak.

April-dated gold increased 20 cents, to $1,575.10, but futures stayed within the thin trading range that has contained the precious yellow metal for the past several sessions.

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.

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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