The major market indexes were on pins and needles in today's session, waiting out most of the day to see what the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) discussed in its March meeting. "It was all about the Fed minutes that came out at 2 p.m.," explained Senior Technical Strategist Ryan Detrick. "Funny thing was, they upped their GDP forecast. Yet, this hurt the chances of any quantitative easing in the near term."
Click through to see what else was on our radar today:
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA – 13,199.55) burned off about 65 points, or 0.5%, and ended its three-day streak of gains. All but four of its 30 components closed with losses as Bank of America paced the 26 laggards with a roughly 2% dip. McDonald's (MCD) and American Express (AXP) led the winning minority with gains of 1% each.
The S&P 500 Index (SPX – 1,413.31) backed down 5.7 points, or 0.4%. Finally, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP – 3,113.57) also stayed below breakeven, with a 6-point, or 0.2%, decline.
Stocks started the session lower on continuing economic woes out of Europe, and never looked back. After the midday mark, minutes from the most recent FOMC meeting were released, and the bearish momentum was amplified. The report showed that central bankers are not eager to implement another round of monetary easing, dashing some investors' lingering QE3 hopes. "Sure enough," said Senior Technical Strategist Ryan Detrick, "a strong economy apparently was a disappointment, and the sellers took over."
Today's highlight: "I guess if you came into the day with some puts or were long the U.S. dollar" you had reason to smile, remarked Detrick. "But seriously, the across-the-board selling in equities, gold, and bonds didn't leave anywhere to hide."
Yesterday, Ryan appeared on Fox Business Network and explained why he is optimistic for an upbeat second quarter.
Turning to equities in focus...
And, in case you missed it, Bernie Schaeffer commented on options activity for the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) and the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (VXX). Click here to read his latest Option Advisor commentary.
For today's activity in commodities, options, and more, head to page 2.
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