"Ahead of tonight's unofficial start of the fourth-quarter earnings season, we saw some mixed results today," observed Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell, CMT. "There was also a jobs report released that was a little better than expected. Overall, we saw a lot of stocks move in different directions, with the broad-market indexes showing very little net change. With all the talk about how we've had a weak start to January, most major indexes are essentially flat for the year, and have held up quite well, given how overbought we were coming into 2014." Ahead of tomorrow's closely watched employment data, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) finished the session with a modest loss.
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 16,444.76) moved higher out of the gate, but quickly lost momentum, and closed 18 points, or 0.1%, lower for the session. The blue-chip barometer's 11 advancers were once again led by Du Pont (NYSE:DD) -- which gained 1.3% -- while Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) paced the 17 laggards with a loss of 2.1%. Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX) and Nike Inc (NYSE:NKE) remained unchanged.
The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,838.13) followed a similar path as the Dow, but managed to add 0.6 point, or 0.03%, by the closing bell. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,156.19) declined 9.4 points, or 0.2%.
Elsewhere, the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 12.89) spiked notably higher around 11:00 a.m. ET -- and then again around 2:00 p.m. ET -- but tacked on just 0.02 point, or 0.2%, for the day.
5 Items on Our Radar Today:
For a look at today's options movers and commodities activity, head to page 2.
The Case for Big Moves in IWM and QQQ
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