Stocks Settle Near Breakeven in Low-Volume Session

Up-and-down action leads indexes to breakeven on the day

by 11/12/2012 4:25:32 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) swayed 78 points today, but ultimately finished near breakeven. "With the bond market and banks closed for Veterans Day, it was a slow and boring session. Then again, after the big selling we saw last week, maybe a boring day isn't so bad," remarked Schaeffer's Senior Technical Strategist Ryan Detrick. "One thing I read and heard a lot about was the action in the CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX). The VIX and other volatility-based instruments were absolutely crushed. A lot of people wondered how this could happen when the market was pretty much flat," continued Detrick. "Clearly they didn't read what Todd Salamone wrote in Monday Morning Outlook over the weekend. The reality is we saw some huge call volume leading up to the election. With that event in the books, everyone 'pre-bought' volatility and now implied volatility is imploding."

Chart of the Day: Nine reasons why Schaeffer's Senior Options Strategist Tony Venosa, CMT, thinks First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR) could light up the charts.

Daily Game Plan: Schaeffer's Senior Trading Analyst Bryan Sapp contemplates the old investing mantra, "Never short a dull market."

And now, a look at the numbers...

CLOSING SUMMARY  INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY  NYSE AND NASDAQ

Stocks experienced see-saw action today, but came to rest in negative territory, swallowing a very narrow loss. As such, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) settled below its 200-day moving average for a fourth day.

Elsewhere, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) settled fractionally higher, but couldn't surmount its 200-day moving average. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) was also little moved, but turned fractionally lower by the close.

The CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX) took a hit today, drifting below its own 200-day moving average. The VIX ripped off roughly 10%, parking at its lowest point since Oct. 22.

Today's highlight: "Yet again, merger-and-acquisition activity was strong. We've seen a lot of this occurring on Mondays over the past few months, and today was no different," said Detrick. "There were three deals that went down, and all three showed substantial value in the companies versus what Wall Street believed. The big movers were Jefferies (NYSE:JEF), Titanium Metals (NYSE:TIE), and Crexus Investment (NYSE:CXS). Overall, things are tricky here, but I continue to think deals like we've been seeing are rather bullish longer-term."

More of today's big stories:

And, in case you missed it ... A "coiling" pattern has been building in the Merrill Lynch Semiconductors HOLDRS ETF (SMH)... Is a breakout on tap?

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

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