"The negative momentum continued today, although small-caps actually became the leader rather than the laggard," noted Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell, CMT. "After a strong November jobs report, December is off to a very weak start so far. Much of this can be attributed to late-year profit taking, but the short-term trend is definitely down right now." As tapering fears continued to plague investors, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) closed in the red for a third consecutive session.
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 15,739.43) faltered yet again today, and sank to an intraday low of 15,703.79 around midday. By the close, the blue-chip index was down 104.1 points, or 0.7%. The Dow's six advancers were led by Exxon Mobil Corporation's (NYSE:XOM) 1.2% gain, while a 2.3% decline for The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) paced the 24 decliners.
The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,775.50) also spent most of the session south of breakeven, and settled 6.7 points, or 0.4%, lower. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 3,998.40) shed 5.4 points, or 0.1%, for the day.
Elsewhere, the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 15.54) reached an intraday high of 16.09 around 12:30 p.m. ET today, but pared some of its gains to finish just 0.1 point, or 0.8%, higher.
A Trader's Take:
"Again, the best thing about today's market was the performance of small-caps," Bell reiterated. "After lagging the rest of the market since the end of November, they all of a sudden became the front-runners. Some strength from this area could be a good sign, as small-caps led for most of the rally this year."
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