The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) moved lower again today as investors readied their portfolios for earnings season. "It was more of the same as yesterday," observed Schaeffer's Senior Technical Strategist Ryan Detrick, CMT. "We pulled back on light volume as everyone gets ready for earnings season. Don't worry," Detrick noted, "once earnings season heats up, we'll start to see more action."
Continue reading for more on today's market, including:
It was indeed a near-repeat of Monday, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) traded in a fairly narrow range but spent the entire day south of breakeven. By the close, the blue-chip index had given back 55 points, or 0.4%, but remained above its 10-day moving average for the fifth consecutive session. Still, 14 of the 30 Dow names closed in the black, led by Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ), which appreciated by 1.5%. Alcoa (NYSE:AA) was flat on the day ahead of its earnings release, and Boeing (NYSE:BA) brought up the rear, losing 2.6% amid reports of a fuel leak with one of its 787 Dreamliner aircraft.
The S&P 500 Index (SPX) moved lower as well, dropping 4.7 points, or 0.3%. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP) suffered the smallest deficit, shedding 7 points, or 0.2%.
After spending most of the day in positive territory, the CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX) made it six losses in a row, closing down 0.2 point, or 1.2%.
A Trader's Take:
"After the huge rally last week, it could very well have been time for a break, and that is what we're seeing this week," quipped Detrick. "The biggest news of the day were the rumors that AIG was considering suing the U.S. government over violation of the Fifth Amendment. That's right, suing the same government that bailed them out. This isn't set in stone and is not certain to actually happen, but the fact it is even being considered is pretty amazing."
3 Things to Know About Today's Market:
Plus ... Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is testing its free WiFi service in an area populated by those who are probably already paying a monthly Internet fee -- Manhattan's chic Chelsea neighborhood. This is one step toward Mayor Michael Bloomberg's quest to be "the world's leading digital city," with "universal access to high-speed Internet." Under the terms of the deal, GOOG will absorb two-thirds of the costs to build and maintain the network, while a nonprofit neighborhood development group will pick up the rest. While Chelsea isn't exactly a region where residents can't easily afford Internet access, it is home to Google's NYC-based office.
Today's Top Tweet:
"Don't trade out of boredom, have a plan and see it first. Days like today are often best spent studying."
@SunriseTrader,, 12:50 p.m.
5 Stocks We Were Watching Today:
Question of the Day:
Q: How can I determine if I will be assigned on my sold option?
A: An option seller will typically not be assigned unless the position is in the money at expiration. One (albeit not foolproof) way to determine the odds of this outcome is by looking at the option's delta, which gives a rough estimate of the percentage chance a position has of being in the money by expiration. So an option with a delta of positive or negative 0.2 has a 20% chance of being in the money when the options expire. This is a general method, however, as delta does not (and cannot) account for unexpected dramatic moves in the underlying security.
For a look at today's options movers and commodities activity, head to page 2.
The Case for Big Moves in IWM and QQQ
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