Weak Tech, Solid Housing; Stocks End Day on Sour Note

Markets reverse recent uptrend; COMP weighed down by GOOG

by 10/18/2012 4:35:02 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) traded in positive territory several times today, but headed south after lunchtime, finding its first loss in the past five sessions.

"Say what you want about technology lagging today. The reality is, tech has performed poorly for nearly a month now," noted Schaeffer's Senior Technical Strategist Ryan Detrick. "What stood out to me is that housing once again bucked the trend and had a good day. Some wise advice that is easier said than done is to play the trends until they don't work anymore." Ryan continued, "My friends, tech is going down and housing is going up. I have no clue how that will end, but it's reality. And as traders, it's our job to trade the major trends."

And now, a look at the numbers...

CLOSING SUMMARY  INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY  NYSE AND NASDAQ

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI 13,548.94) spent time on both sides of breakeven today, seeing an intraday high of 13,588.73, and a session low of 13,510.93. But by the time the dust settled, the Dow found itself down 8.1 points, or 0.06%. American Express Company's (NYSE:AXP) earnings-related deficit of nearly 3% headed the index's 11 underperforming issues, while The Travelers Companies, Inc. (NYSE:TRV) gained 3.6% on a better-than-expected quarterly report, pacing the 18 winning blue chips. The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG) remained unchanged.

Both the S&P 500 Index (SPX 1,457.34) and Nasdaq Composite (COMP 3,072.87) turned lower today, ending a their three-session uptrend. The SPX slipped 3.6 points, or 0.2%, while the COMP retreated 31.3 points, or 1%. This worst performance of three benchmarks was highlighted by Google Inc's (NASDAQ:GOOG) "premature" earnings release.

The CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX 15.03) edged south by 0.3%, but bounced from its session low of 14.68.

Today's highlight: When asked what topped today's market headlines, Detrick answered with a smirk, "Gee, I have no clue. Maybe Google dropping a total bomb on the head of an unsuspecting market during the lunch hour? Yeah, that is probably the headline from today's trading."

Noteworthy stats at the close:

  • The equity put/call volume ratio across all 10 options exchanges ended at 0.78, with 8.9 million calls traded today, versus 7 million puts.
  • The put/call volume ratio on the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (NYSEARCA:VXX - 32.88) -- which tagged another split-adjusted record low of 32.48 -- checked in at 1.46, with puts easily trumping calls.
  • The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) showed an advance/decline ratio of 0.93, signaling the number of upward movers was eclipsed by decliners. Meanwhile, the advance/decline ratio of 0.45 on the Nasdaq confirmed that the number of upward movers was more than doubled by the declining stocks.

Explore our Trading Floor Blog and Daily Options Blog for coverage on today's big stories, including:

And, in case you missed it ... Semiconductor stocks could be the key to a reversal in recent tech-sector weakness.

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

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