Dow Retreats Following Mixed Bag of Economic Reports

Gold futures suffer lowest close in almost five months

by 12/2/2013 4:34:57 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:

"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.

Continue reading for more on today's market, including:

plus...
    Retail sales for Thanksgiving weekend declined, manufacturing activity rose in November, and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) attracted weekly call buyers.

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%.

CLOSING SUMMARY  INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY  NYSE AND NASDAQ

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:

  • The National Retail Federation revealed that the number of Thanksgiving Day shoppers rose 27% on a year-over-year basis to around 45 million. However, retail sales for the full holiday weekend dropped 2.7% to $57.4 billion, with the average shopper spending almost 6% less this year. (CNBC)
  • The Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing index arrived at 57.3 in November -- up from a reading of 56.4 in the month prior, and marking the loftiest level since April 2011. Economists, on average, were expecting a decline in the index last month. (Bloomberg)
  • The Labor Department said construction spending rose by 0.8% in October to a seasonally adjusted yearly rate of $908.4 billion. This latest figure contrasts the previous month's drop of 0.3%, and denoted the fastest pace of growth since May 2009. (ABC News)

5 Stocks We Were Watching Today:

  1. Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) received a price-target hike following news that the company is testing the use of delivery drones.
  2. Call volume has accelerated on Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NYSE:AMD), but some of this activity could be the work of hedging short sellers.
  3. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) saw a surge in bullish betting -- particularly among weekly calls -- despite a rise in the equity's options prices.
  4. Another round of positive, drug-related headlines pushed shares of Biogen Idec Inc (NASDAQ:BIIB) to a new technical milestone.
  5. General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) received an upbeat analyst note this morning, which may have prompted a wave of front-month call buying.

For a look at today's options movers and commodities activity, head to page 2.

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