"In what is historically a very bearish week -- the week after September options expiration -- the first day started off in the red," observed Schaeffer's Senior Technical Strategist Ryan Detrick, CMT. "After the bloodbath on Friday, it was nice to see we didn't have a huge continuation of that. Still, the big worry is that financials are really lagging here, and they could pull the entire market lower, should they continue to underperform." Against this backdrop, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) closed south of breakeven for the third consecutive session.
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 15,401.38) fell right out of the gate today, sinking to a session low of 15,368.25 just after 11:00 a.m. ET. By the close, the index was off 49.7 points, or 0.3%. The blue-chip bellwether's 11 advancers were led by UnitedHealth Group's (NYSE:UNH) 1.8% gain, while newly minted Dow component Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) paced the 19 decliners with a drop of 2.7%.
The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,701.84) also dropped at the start of the session, and tagged an intraday low of 1,697.10 this morning. By the end, the index was down 8.1 points, or 0.5%, holding above the key 1,700 level. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 3,765.29) fell 9.4 points, or 0.3%.
Elsewhere, the CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 14.31) spiked after the opening bell, and finished 1.2 points, or 9.1%, higher.
A Trader's Take:
"Small-caps held up well on a relative basis, which was one bright spot," continued Detrick. "Historically, the end of September has been weak, and as we head into earnings season in a few weeks, expect to see some choppy price action. The Fed has said what they are going to say, and it is now up to the economy to show some type of a pulse."
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For a look at today's options movers and commodities activity, head to page 2.
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