The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) rallied more than 140 points during this morning's highly anticipated speech by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke before Congress. However, as the day wore on, things took a downturn and the lion's share of these gains was pared by the closing bell. "After yesterday's huge rally, it was nice that we didn't quickly give back all of those gains," stated Schaeffer's Senior Technical Strategist Ryan Detrick. "On the other hand, it was a peculiar day as small caps and tech stocks significantly lagged their big-cap brothers. Couple this with the financial weakness, and I think it's safe to say we still have a very jittery market." Keep reading to see what else was on our radar today:
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI – 12,460.96) weathered a 138-point swing today -- from a session peak of 12,555.26 to a late-session low of 12,416.53 -- to land with a 46.2-point, or 0.4%, gain by the time the dust settled. Sixteen of the 30 blue-chips closed higher, as United Technologies (UTX) led the outperformers with a 2.4% jump. Bank of America (BAC) paced the 13 laggards with a 2.9% loss, while Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) remained unchanged.
The S&P 500 Index (SPX – 1,314.99) also saw a very up-and-down session, but ultimately inched fractionally lower by the closing bell. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP – 2,831.02) mirrored the SPX's performance, and settled with a larger 13.7-point, or 0.5%, loss.
The CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX – 21.72) continued its recent decline, notching its fourth down day in a row. The VIX fell nearly 2% lower and ended well above its session low of 20.74, and just atop its 32-day moving average.
Today's highlight: "China got things started with the surprise rate cut this morning, but Fed. Chairman Ben Bernanke didn't give much of a hint one way or the other regarding any quantitative easing (QE3) or a continued Operation Twist -- and by the end of the day we were well off the highs," said Detrick. "Also, it's worth noting that financials significantly lagged all day, finishing in the red and near their lows."
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