"In a rare move, blue chips took the lead today," observed Schaeffer's Senior Technical Strategist Ryan Detrick, CMT. After two days of triple-digit gains, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) made it three in a row, closing at its intraday high after spending the entire session in the green. "September is off to its best start since 2010, and traders are anxiously awaiting next week's Fed decision on interest rates and more importantly, what they will do about the bond-buying program. Do they taper? By how much? These questions could lead to some volatility and skittishness over the next few days."
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 15,326.60) posted another triple-digit gain and finished at its intraday peak, up 135.5 points, or 0.9%. The 26 rallying Dow names were paced by International Business Machines (NYSE:IBM), which gained 2.2% on the day. JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) and Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) each logged a 0.8% loss, and AT&T (NYSE:T) and Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) were unchanged.
The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,689.13) spent much of the morning in negative territory, but eked out a modest rally of 5.1 points, or 0.3%, keeping its winning streak alive at seven sessions. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 3,725.01), conversely, was dragged into the red by Apple and other names, closing with a loss of 4 points, or 0.1%.
The CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 13.82) continued its decline, ending the day beneath its 50-day moving average (and south of 14) for the first time since Aug. 23. By the time the dust settled, the VIX had surrendered 0.7 point, or 4.9%.
A Trader's Take:
"The story stock of the day was Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) -- it had a big down day and held back the Nasdaq," noted Detrick. "In the end, this was a perfect example of how sentiment works. Coming into the hyped iPhone event, calls were very active and hopes were high for the stock. Well, the prices of their phones didn't excite the masses, and they didn't sign an expected deal with China Mobile. Those lofty expectations set a high bar and sure enough, the 'bad news' led to heavy selling."
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5 Stocks We Were Watching Today:
For a look at today's options movers and commodities activity, head to page 2.
9 Levels to Watch for Apple Inc.
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