While the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) pegged another multi-year high today, the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite (COMP) commanded the most attention, amid a slew of closely watched earnings reports. "Better-than-expected earnings from Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) and IBM (NYSE:IBM) sent the stocks higher, which helped give the COMP a leadership role for much of the day," said Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell. "Meanwhile, IBM pushed the Dow higher almost single-handedly," he added.
Continue reading for more on today's market, including:
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) traded in positive territory throughout the session, hitting a new multi-year high in the process and advancing upon the 13,800 threshold. By the close, the Dow had added 67 points, or 0.5%. IBM was the clear victor among the 12 winning Dow stocks, up 4.4% on the day. Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) brought up the rear, down 1.4%, and Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) was unchanged.
The S&P 500 Index (SPX) spent time on both sides of breakeven but tagged a new peak of 1,496.13 in late-afternoon trading. The index eked out a gain of 2.2 points, or 0.2%, at the closing bell. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP), meanwhile, closed 10.5 points higher, up 0.3% after paring some of its earlier gains.
As investors try to call a top to the recent rally, the CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX) edged higher despite gains in the major indexes. At the close, the VIX was up 0.2%, or less than 0.1 point.
A Trader's Take:
"The market was largely about technology today, with lots of earnings news to digest," Bell observed. "But the much-anticipated debt-ceiling extension was also agreed upon by the House of Representatives. While the deal was widely expected, the proposal calling for the suspension of congressional pay in the absence of a budget deal was a nice public-relations touch," he quipped.
3 Things to Know About Today's Market:
Plus ... An increasing number of companies are tired of their employees being tired, and are doing something about it, according to the Wall Street Journal. Companies such as Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) and Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) are setting up programs and even on-site beds to allow workers to get their 40 winks. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that about 30% of all U.S. workers don't get enough shuteye. And one Harvard study estimates that tired workers mean a loss of $63.2 billion in productivity nationally.
Today's Top Tweet:
"In a long options trade, you are at risk of losing 100% of your money. So a 40% win on that is only a 0.4 reward to risk $$"
@Prospectus, (Prospectus), 8:47 a.m.
5 Stocks We Were Watching Today:
Question of the Day:
Q: Where can I find out if a particular stock offers LEAPS?
A: LEAPS -- Long-Term Equity AnticiPation Securities -- are securities that bridge the gap between aggressive short-term option trading and traditional stock investing. One downside to these long-term options, however, is that they are not available on every optionable stock. LEAPS are rolled out when the option exchanges determine there is enough trading demand and the market makers are able to price and trade the contracts. An updated list of equities with open LEAPS series is available here, via the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE).
For a look at today's options movers and commodities activity, head to page 2.
Mid-Caps Nearing a Triple of March 2009 Lows
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