"Well, we went nowhere for a week then jumped higher today," noted Schaeffer's Senior Technical Strategist Ryan Detrick, CMT. "As I said yesterday, the old Wall Street adage is, 'Never short a dull market.'" The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) didn't manage to close atop the 13,600 level or achieve any new milestones, but it did gain nearly 85 points today. "Although earnings weren't that great," Detrick admitted, "a big drop in initial jobless claims and very strong housing data was all it took to have a nice rally."
Continue reading for more on today's market, including:
After peaking at 13,633.89 in the early afternoon, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) settled up 85 points, or 0.6%. The blue-chip index failed to hit a new annual high on an intraday basis and missed closing at a new multi-year high, as well. Of the 30 Dow components, 24 moved higher today, led by Intel (NASDAQ:INTC), which gained 2.6% ahead of tonight's earnings report. On the down side, Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) lost 4.2%.
The S&P 500 Index (SPX), meanwhile, finally conquered its former peak and stretched to its highest point in half a decade. By the close, the SPX was up 8.3 points, or 0.6%, and rallied as high as 1,485.16 during the session. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP) advanced as well, gaining 18.5 points, or 0.6%, and getting within 53 points of its annual peak during intraday trading.
The CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX) pegged another multi-year low of 13.16 during Thursday's trading but managed to end modestly higher, up 0.2 point or 1.1%.
A Trader's Take:
"I guess any time you make new highs in small-caps, mid-caps, transportation stocks, and junk bonds, you'd have to consider that a good day," remarked Detrick. "While we have noticed some definite increases in overall optimism, in the end price is what matters, and the charts still look rather bullish to me. Be careful, though," he warned, "as we often pull back during the second half of January, and various sentiment polls are becoming elevated in terms of bullish sentiment. Still, you can't argue with the strong price action and wide participation from a variety of sectors."
3 Things to Know About Today's Market:
Plus ... it's getting costlier to stay healthy. Unnaturally chilly temperatures along the West Coast have had an ill effect on the vegetable crop, and prices are rising as a result. Almost all of the nation's supply of popular vegetables such as lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, and artichokes are grown in Southern California and Arizona during the winter months. As this supply has dropped, a price hike has naturally followed. Romaine lettuce prices have nearly tripled this year, as have broccoli prices. The recent cold snap could even result in a "critical" shortage of some vegetables over the next few weeks, according to experts.
Today's Top Tweet:
"Russell 2000, S&P Small-Cap 600 and S&P Mid-Cap 400 are all pointing towards all-time highs. In other news, DEBT CEILING."
@EddyElfenbein, (Eddy Elfenbein), 11:54 a.m.
5 Stocks We Were Watching Today:
Question of the Day:
Q: What is a good-til-canceled order?
A: The good-til-canceled (GTC) order is yet another common variation of the limit order. Unlike day orders, a GTC order will remain open until it is either filled or canceled. If you anticipate it might be a while until the stock reaches your target entry or exit point, but you want to jump in as soon possible, this order is probably a good choice for you. However, your order won't remain open indefinitely; a common time frame for these orders to expire is 60 days, but check with your broker to be sure.
For a look at today's options movers and commodities activity, head to page 2.
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