"After yesterday's massive late-day rally, most of the major sectors took a little breather, and results were fairly mixed today," observed Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell, CMT. "The initial jobless claims number came in at 309,000, but the computer glitches with California and Nevada seem to be causing some of the same issues we saw with these figures for the past few weeks." Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) pulled back slightly from Wednesday's record high to close in negative territory.
Continue reading for more on today's market, including:
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 15,636.55) spent just a small amount of time in the black this morning, and eventually sank to an intraday low of 15,625.45 during the afternoon hours. By the close, the blue-chip bellwether was down 40.4 points, or 0.3% -- its first losing session in five. Home Depot (NYSE:HD) led the Dow's eight advancers with a gain of 1.5%, while UnitedHealth (NYSE:UNH) paced the laggards yet again with a loss of 3%.
The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,722.34) followed a similar path, but managed to tag yet another record intraday high of 1,729.86 early in the session. By the closing bell, however, the index was down 3.2 points, or 0.2%. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 3,789.38) fared the best of its peers, advancing 5.7 points, or 0.2%, and reaching -- once again -- its highest point in almost 13 years.
Elsewhere, the CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 13.16) dropped right out of the gate, and remained south of breakeven for the entire session to finish 0.4 point, or 3.2%, lower on the day. The "fear barometer" is in danger of finishing a second consecutive week south of its 20-week moving average.
A Trader's Take:
"The Nasdaq was the clear leader today, as Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) had a pretty nice day after its recent poor price action," continued Bell. "Given the notable run up by all the major sectors this month, it's not too surprising that we had a day like this."
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