"It looks like the early holiday spending was a little disappointing, and that gave the bears some momentum," observed Schaeffer's Senior Technical Strategist Ryan Detrick, CMT. "Still, if you look a little deeper into the data, online sales were actually pretty strong." Against this backdrop, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) finished the session in negative territory, but managed to stay atop the 16,000 level.
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 16,008.77) spent most of the session in the red, and touched an intraday low of 15,986.23 shortly before the closing bell. By the time the dust settled, the blue-chip index was down 77.6 points, or 0.5%. Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Visa Inc (NYSE:V) led the Dow's nine advancers with gains of 0.8% each, while 3M Co (NYSE:MMM) paced the 20 laggards with an analyst-induced drop of 4.4%. General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) remained unchanged.
The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,800.90) charted a similar path, and shed 4.9 points, or 0.3%, by the closing bell -- ending slightly above the 1,800 mark. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,045.26) declined 14.6 points, or 0.4%, on the day.
Elsewhere, the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 14.23) plummeted to an intraday low of 13.78 around midday, but powered north to finish with a gain of 0.5 point, or 3.9%.
A Trader's Take:
"Manufacturing data came out today, and it was the best monthly reading since April 2011," said Detrick. "The overall economy continues to steadily improve, but the one area that is lacking is employment. Speaking of which, monthly jobs data is due for release this Friday."
3 Things to Know About Today's Market:
5 Stocks We Were Watching Today:
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Recent XIV Action May Bode Well for Bulls
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