"No news on the Syria front spurred a relief bounce, then late-day jitters led to a pullback in the final hour," observed Schaeffer's Senior Technical Strategist Ryan Detrick, CMT. "Economic data was ok -- I'm looking at you, GDP and jobless claims -- but Syria has most of us on edge." Although the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) spent the bulk of the day in positive territory, it pared most of its intraday gains into the closing bell. "Tomorrow is the day before a three-day weekend," Detrick continued, "so expect very light volume and not a lot of action. Unless, of course, something happens in Syria, then all bets are off."
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Price action was similar to Wednesday's on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 14,840.95), which gave back the bulk of its gains as the close approached, ending up just 16.4 points, or 0.1%. Still, 20 of the Dow's 30 components closed higher on the day, led by Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ), which gained 2.7%. Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) paced the 10 laggards with a 1.8% loss.
The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,638.17) endured intraday rejection at its overhead 10-day moving average, and finished the day just 3.2 points, or 0.2%, in the black. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 3,620.30) was the best of the lot, adding 27 points, or 0.8%, and settling back above its own 10-day after two days below this trendline.
The CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 16.81) managed to move higher as well, after spending much of the morning south of breakeven. By the close, the fear barometer had tacked on 0.3 point, or 1.9%.
A Trader's Take:
"There are many market worries out there right now, mainly the Dow breaking down," added Detrick. "Of course, if you look at just the Dow, then you'd be worried. But if you look at more risky and aggressive areas like small-caps and technology, things don't look so bad. In fact, we've long said small-caps are the key to this market. They led in December when everyone was worried about the 'fiscal cliff,' only to see a historic gain the first half of the year. And once again, they are holding up well."
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