The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) still managed to gain ground today, even with budget talks at a temporary standstill. While there were several economic data points hitting the newswires, "overall, it was another slow day ahead of the upcoming holidays," quipped Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell.
Continue reading for more on today's market, including:
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) bounced around breakeven for much of the morning, but committed to positive territory in early afternoon trading after testing support at its 10-day moving average. The blue-chip average closed just off its intraday peak with a 60-point gain, up 0.5%. Just five of the Dow's 30 names were in negative territory by the close, led by Merck (NYSE:MRK), which shed 3.4% on disappointing news from its cholesterol drug trial. Pacing the 25 advancers was Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), up nearly 3% today.
The S&P 500 Index (SPX) closed back above the familiar 1,440 level, up 7.9 points, or 0.6%. Elsewhere, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) finished near breakeven, gaining six points, or 0.2%, on the day.
The CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX) moved higher as well, however, tacking on 1.8%, or 0.31 point.
A Trader's Take:
"This morning, jobs data was in line with expectations, and housing data was a little better than expected. We also got our daily dose of fiscal-cliff news from Washington," recapped Bell. "The market is still holding its gains from early this week, though, and even managed to trade higher for much of today's session. We've rallied more than 7% from our November low," he pointed out, "and the bulls continue to be resilient as we head into the end of the year."
3 Things to Know About Today's Market:
Plus ... Boeing (NYSE:BA) found a suitable proxy for an airplane full of warm human passengers -- 20,000 pounds of Idaho's finest. Specifically, the aerospace company used 20,000 pounds of potatoes to test the effectiveness of in-flight WiFi. A BA spokesperson asserts the spuds' "interactions with radio-wave signals mimic those of the human body."
Today's Top Tweet:
"At this point, unless a politician says something really dramatic (re: fiscal cliff), markets have become desensitized when they speak $$"
@TheArmoTrader, 10:19 a.m.
5 Stocks We Were Watching Today:
Question of the Day:
Q: What is "triple witching?"
A: Triple witching happens four times a year, on expiration Friday during the last month of each quarter. In other words, this phenomenon occurs on the third Friday of March, June, September, and December. On this day, stock index futures, stock index options, and equity options all expire, often prompting increased volatility, particularly during the final hour of the trading day.
For a look at today's options movers and commodities activity, head to page 2.
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