Markets Close Solidly Higher (No Thanks to Small Caps)

Dow takes a triple-point ride, while the SPX marks its fourth-straight up day

by 10/4/2012 4:38:22 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:

At its session peak, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) was up roughly 100 points, which ultimately helped solidify the index's best daily settlement in two weeks. "It was a nice day on Wall Street and rumored to be the 'Romney Rally,' as stocks liked what the Presidential candidate had to say last night at the debate," remarked Schaeffer's Senior Technical Strategist Ryan Detrick. "I have no clue if that is true or not, but one thing that did stand out to me was that small caps lagged again. We need to see small caps regain leadership if this market is going to break out to new highs once more."

Keep reading to see what else was on our radar today:

And now, a look at the numbers...

CLOSING SUMMARY  INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY  NYSE AND NASDAQ

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI 13,575.36) ran to an intraday high of 13,594.33 this morning, and maintained a large portion of this near 100-point gain by the time the closing bell sounded. On the day, the blue-chip barometer jumped 80.8 points, or 0.6%, finding a comfortable perch above 13,500 for the first time since Monday. This move also pushed the index back atop its 10-day and 20-day moving averages. Most of the Dow's 30 components charged to wins today, as Alcoa Inc. (NYSE:AA) and Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) paced the 25 outperformers with gains of 3.3% each. On the other hand, the five laggards were fronted by Intel Corporation's (NASDAQ:INTC) 0.4% dip.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX 1,461.40) and Nasdaq Composite (COMP 3,149.46) both followed the Dow into positive territory today, enjoying the wave of optimism hitting the Street. The SPX tacked on 10.4 points, or 0.7%, to close at its loftiest price since September 14. Meanwhile, the COMP posted a return of 14.2 points, or 0.5%, parking at an eight-day best.

The CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX 14.55) dipped back below its 20-day moving average, and slipped through support at the 15 mark. By the close, the VIX lost 0.9 point, or 5.7%.

Today's highlight: "To harp some more on small caps, I was very impressed with their reversal off their lows," said Detrick "Small caps were actually in the red at one point, and as the day wore on, they found some buyers."

"Tomorrow is all about the jobs report," continued Ryan. "Then everyone puts on their economist hat and determines what the number means for the economy. After that, we'll put on our central banker hat to see if we can think like Federal Reserve President Ben Bernanke, attempting to predict what the jobs data means for more quantitative easing (or not). Tune in, it'll be fun."

Turning to today's major market stories...

For today's activity in commodities, options, and more, head to page 2.

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