"We had some more good economic data from the consumer confidence and leading indicators reports. But to me, it's a great sign that small caps once again took charge and led us higher," noted Schaeffer's Senior Technical Strategist Ryan Detrick. "Since August started, the more 'risky' small-cap names have really found a bid, and this could bode well for a continuation to the surprise summer rally." Against this backdrop, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) remained in the green for the majority of the session, and found its highest perch since May 1.
Keep reading to see what else was on our radar today:
A last-minute surge pushed the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI – 13,275.20) to a session high of 13,281.32. By the closing bell, the Dow held onto most of its gains, and secured a 25.1-point, or 0.2%, victory. Thirteen of the 30 blue chips advanced, as United Technologies Corporation's (NYSE:UTX) 2% rise led the way. On the other hand, Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE:MRK) paced the losing components with a 1.4% pullback. The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG) and Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) finished flat. The Dow saw a weekly rise of 0.5%.
The S&P 500 Index (SPX – 1,418.16) and Nasdaq Composite (COMP – 3,076.59) also headed north today. The SPX tacked on 2.7 points, or 0.2%, while the COMP jumped 14.2 points, or 0.5%. Over the past week, the SPX was 0.9% higher, and the COMP posted a 1.8% return -- the best performance of its fellow benchmarks.
The CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX – 13.45) marked its third consecutive day lower, burning off 5.9%, and finding a foothold just above its intraday low of 13.30. Today's settlement is the VIX's lowest since June 2007. The market's fear gauge peeled back 8.9% on the week.
Today's highlight: "Expiration Friday is always a busy day for us here at Schaeffer's Investment Research, as we initiate closeouts," said Detrick. "It's a big relief when it's finally over, and today was no different. See you later, August trades, and hello, September trades. Have a nice weekend."
Turning to today's major market stories...
For today's activity in commodities, options, and more, head to page 2.
Mid-Caps Nearing a Triple of March 2009 Lows
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