"Overall, the market was relatively mixed today, with most sectors showing very modest gains," observed Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell, CMT. "There was very little economic data out, but new home sales did disappoint this morning, which definitely weighed on the homebuilding sector. We also had a few retailers report earnings, with mixed results." Against this backdrop, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) stayed in positive territory, and retook its perch above the 15,000 mark.
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After a brief trek below the breakeven line this morning, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 15,010.51) turned on its heels and marched convincingly higher, closing slightly below its intraday peak of 15,025.56. By the time the closing bell sounded, the blue-chip index had gained 46.7 points, or 0.3%, to retake the 15,000 mark. Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) popped 7.3% higher to pace the 18 advancers, while Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO) paced the 10 laggards, losing 0.6% on the day. Both Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) and General Electric (NYSE:GE) were unchanged. This week, the Dow lost almost 0.5%.
The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,663.50) also headed higher following an early morning hiccup, driving 6.5 points, or 0.4%, north by the end of the day, finishing just shy of its 10-day moving average. And on the heels of yesterday afternoon's trading freeze, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 3,657.79) continued higher, adding 19.1 points, or 0.5%. On a weekly basis, the SPX gained 0.5%, while the COMP surged 1.5%.
The CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 13.98) subsequently continued lower, giving back 0.8 point, or 5.3%, to close beneath its 10-day moving average after seven sessions above this trendline. The market's fear barometer shed 2.7% on the week.
A Trader's Take:
"Some of the big news on the day was the announcement that Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) CEO Steve Ballmer will retire within a year," added Bell. "The news actually sent shares of the stock significantly higher, and the tech sector paved the way north for the broad market."
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