"After such a strong rally in early January, it seems like the market is continuing to take a breather here," said Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell of today's trading. But he noted that, "the market's ability to grind higher off its early morning lows was a nice sign of strength." The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) fell for the second straight day, but finished with the best January since 1994. And while the blue-chip index backed down some, that 14,000 mark is still in reach.
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Despite some mildly encouraging economic news, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) dropped for the second straight day, finishing at 13,860.58 after falling nearly 50 points, or about 0.4%. Only nine companies advanced on the 30-member Dow, led by The Travelers Companies (NYSE:TRV), which jumped 1.1%. Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) was unchanged. United Technologies (NYSE:UTX) had the biggest fall out of the 19 decliners, dropping 1.7%. Despite the two-day losing streak to close the month, the Dow jumped 5.8% in January, its best opening month in almost two decades, and the best overall monthly gain since October 2011.
The S&P 500 Index (SPX) also fell, dropping nearly 4 points, or 0.3%, to close at 1,498.11. The index failed to stay above the 1,500 mark after four consecutive sessions above that threshold. Yet, it was the best month for the SPX since October 2011, with the index climbing 5.0% in January. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP) fell less than 1 point (0%) to finish at 3,142.13. For the month, COMP climbed 4.1%.
The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) finished at 14.3, down less than 0.1 point, or 0.3%. The VIX finished above 14 for the second straight session, and above 13 for the fourth straight day. Still, the VIX finished the month down 20.8%.
A Trader's Take:
"The day got off to a fast start, as the market received numerous economic data points and several company earnings reports," Bell said. "Overall, the economic reports were mixed and the market once again failed to make a major move in one direction or the other."
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For a look at today's options movers and commodities activity, head to page 2.
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