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Stocks Bounce Higher From Technical Support; Dow Retakes 15,000

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"Markets saw a lot of whipsaw price action today," noted Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell, CMT, "but in the end, most broad-market indices were near breakeven." The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) traded as low as 1,4844.22 before ending the day at its intraday high -- up 80 points and back above the 15,000 level.

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

plus...

    The European Central Bank holds steady, Microsoft ( MSFT ) fights crime, and Facebook ( FB ) still has plenty of fans.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) held steady for the first half of the trading day, before a trip into negative territory bottomed out during the lunch hour. Afternoon trading was securely in the hands of the bulls, and the index finished at its intraday peak, up 80 points, or 0.5%, at 15,040.62. Of the 30 Dow components, two dozen finished higher, with Verizon Communications ( VZ ) surging 3.5% to take the top slot. Travelers Companies ( TRV ) was unchanged today, and Chevron Corporation (CVX) paced the five decliners, with a drop of 0.8%.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX) dipped south of 1,600 early this afternoon, but the breach was short-lived, as the index rallied into the closing bell. By day's end, the SPX had gained 13.7 points, or 0.9%, to move back above its 40-day moving average and close at 1,622.56. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP) bounced off its respective 40-day trendline intraday, to settle with a gain of 22.3 points, or 0.7%, at 3,424.05.

The CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX) , meanwhile, jumped to a three-month high of 18.51 before ultimately surrendering 0.9 point, or 5%. The VIX closed near its session low, at 16.63.

CLOSING SUMMARY - INDICESCLOSING SUMMARY - NYSE AND NASDAQ

A Trader's Take :

"We finally saw some buyers come in after the sharp selling throughout the beginning of the week," said Bell. "Tomorrow, all eyes will be on the jobs numbers, as investors try to gauge just how much longer quantitative easing will remain in place."

3 Things to Know About Today's Market :

  • Initial jobless claims dropped by 11,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 346,000, according to the Labor Department. The reading was on par with economists' expectations. Elsewhere in employment news , Challenger, Gray and Christmas reported that corporate layofffs declined by 4.5% in May from the previous month. On a year-over-year basis, job cuts were down 41.2%. (Reuters)
  • As expected, the European Central Bank (ECB) held its primary interest rate at 0.5%. Nevertheless, the group is "ready to act" in order to curb recessionary pressures, according to ECB President Mario Draghi. In fact, Draghi has not ruled out lowering rates into negative territory. (Bloomberg)
  • The FBI teamed up with Microsoft Corporation ( MSFT ) to target cybercrime, and brought down the majority of the Citadel operation. On Citadel's rap sheet is more than $500 million in stolen funds and up to five million infected computers. (USA Today)

5 Stocks We Were Watching Today :

  1. Option bulls continue to wager on a comeback for Facebook ( FB ) shares.
  2. Small-Cap Spotlight : Three names with low market caps that are poised to head higher.
  3. Put buyers expect a short-term pullback in Nokia Corporation (NOK) shares.
  4. Bears are betting against Sirius XM Radio (SIRI) , as the stock tests technical support.
  5. J.C. Penney Company (JCP) earned a new "buy" rating -- and some cautiously optimistic words -- from Sterne Agree.
EARNINGS

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

STOCKS - NOTABLE CALL ACTIVITYSTOCKS - NOTABLE PUT ACTIVITY

Commodities :

A plunging U.S. dollar boosted oil futures in today's trading, as investors nervously await tomorrow morning's jobs report. Crude for July delivery advanced $1.02, or 1.1%, to settle at $94.76 per barrel.

Gold also benefited from a tumbling greenback, as the precious metal tagged its highest close since mid-May. August-dated gold surged $17.30, or 1.2%, to end the session at $1,415.80 an ounce. This was the highest close for a most-active contract since May 14.

SCHAEFFER'S MARKET POSTURE

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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