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Bulls Claim Victory; Dow Ends Higher Despite Early 135-Point Drop

VIX breaks its five-day losing streak, moves back above 13

by 5/5/2014 4:18:29 PM
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Investors weren't sure where to focus their attention today, given geopolitical concerns, mixed earnings reports, and economic data at home and abroad. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) started the day solidly lower, pressured by lackluster earnings from Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) and worse-than-expected manufacturing data from China. News of expansion in the services sector turned things around, however, and the blue-chip index managed to pare a triple-digit loss by midday before closing with a modest gain.

Continue reading for more on today's market, including:

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 16,530.55) dipped to an intraday low of 16,377.09 early on before solidly overcoming the breakeven level in mid-afternoon trading. By the closing bell, the index had added 17.7 points, or 0.1%. The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) led the Dow's 16 advancers, gaining 1.6%, while Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) shed 2.6% to bring up the rear.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,884.66) faced a similar intraday swing but finished near its highs of the day, up 3.5 points, or 0.2%. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,138.06), meanwhile, closed with a gain of 14.2 points, or 0.3%, after also spending some time in the red.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 13.29) popped north of the 13 level and snapped its five-day losing streak. By the closing bell, the market's "fear gauge" had added 0.4 point, or 2.9%.



5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. Expansion continues in the services sector, per the latest findings in the non-manufacturing index from the Institute for Supply Management. The reading rose to 55.2 last month from 53.1 in March, exceeding economists' expectations. It was the index's 52nd consecutive reading north of 50, which is the level separating expansion from contraction. (Reuters)
  2. In the wake of a widespread data breach that occurred during the holiday shopping season, Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) President and CEO Gregg Steinhafel tendered his resignation, and relinquished his post as chairman of the board. Taking the dual role on an interim basis is Chief Financial Officer John Mulligan, while board member Roxanne Austin will assume the chair position temporarily. Steinhafel had been with the retailing giant for 35 years, and served as CEO since mid-2008. (USA Today)
  3. Speaking with FOX News on Sunday, Dallas Federal Reserve President Richard Fisher said it was too soon to begin discussing an increase in interest rates. Clarifying further, Fisher expects the central bank's asset-buying program will wind down in October before an economic analysis can be conducted. Both of these should happen prior to any discussions about an interest-rate hike, he said. (The Wall Street Journal)
  4. As it gears up for its Thursday afternoon earnings report, NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA) saw a influx of bullish activity in its options pits.
  5. BroadSoft Inc (NASDAQ:BSFT) took a sharp post-earnings tumble, spurring bears into action.

For a look at today's options movers and commodities activity, head to page 2.

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