"There was quite a bit of economic data released today, and most of it relayed the message of modest growth," observed Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell, CMT. "Retail sales were slightly worse than expected, and the producer price index signaled a little bit of inflation. The markets generally reacted favorably, as the strong momentum continued into the end of the week." As a result, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) finished firmly in positive territory.
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 15,376.06) spent the entire session in the black, and tagged an intraday high of 15,380.97 shortly after noon. For the day, the blue-chip barometer ended up finishing 75.4 points, or 0.5%, higher. On a week-over-week basis, the index gained 3%, its best weekly return since January. The Dow's 23 advancers were led by Intel's (NASDAQ:INTC) analyst-induced 3.6% gain, while Alcoa (NYSE:AA) paced the seven decliners with a loss of 1%.
The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,687.99) experienced some rollercoaster price action this morning, surging right out of the gate, only to touch a session low of 1,682.22 an hour later. By the close, however, the SPX was up 4.6 points, or 0.3%. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 3,722.18) gained 6.2 points, or 0.2%. For the week, indexes rose 2% and 1.7%, respectively.
The CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 14.16) had a choppy ride today, as well, and ended up finishing 0.1 point, or 0.9%, lower. The "fear gauge" shed 10.7% for the week, closing below its 20-week moving average once again.
A Trader's Take:
"Despite the strong price action we have experienced during the start of September, we are finally set to hear from the Fed next week," continued Bell. "Certainly all eyes will be on Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, as many market participants are eager to find out if tapering will begin in September, and if so, by how much."
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