"There was chatter this morning that Asia and Europe might be seeing another round of quantitative easing sooner rather than later," noted Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell, CMT. "This speculation, along with some decent economic reports, sent most sectors higher throughout much of the day. Interestingly enough, the technology and consumer discretionary sectors took an early lead. Despite the early strength, though, we once again saw a pretty sizable reversal throughout the day, with small-caps struggling to stay above breakeven." The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) zoomed higher out of the gate and close with a modest gain on the day, putting it slightly in the black for the week.
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 16,323.06) was up more than 150 points at its intraday peak, but pared its gain to 58.8 points, or 0.4%, by the close. Twenty-six of the Dow's 30 blue chips ended higher, led by Microsoft Corporation's (NASDAQ:MSFT) 2.4% advance. Visa Inc (NYSE:V) led the declining minority with a 1.7% drop. For the week, the Dow edged 0.1% higher.
The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,857.62) also trimmed its lead in afternoon trading, finishing with a gain of 8.6 points, or 0.5%. After spending most of the session in positive territory, the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,155.76) spent the final 90 minutes of trading flirting with breakeven, but ultimately resolved to the upside, adding 4.5 points, or 0.1%. For the week, the SPX shed 0.5%, while the COMP surrendered 2.8%.
The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 14.41) peeked above breakeven in afternoon action, but finished 0.2 point, or 1.4%, lower. For the week, the "fear barometer" shed 3.9%.
A Trader's Take:
"Despite the rocky afternoon for most sectors," Bell added, "we did see most broad indexes finish in the green. It seems clear the bulls are struggling to gain any momentum to the upside, as selling pressure continued to cap any and all attempted rallies this week."
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