"What more can you say ... the bulls took charge," recalled Schaeffer's Senior Technical Strategist Ryan Detrick, CMT. "Some disappointing retail data and weekly initial claims pushed things lower early, but the bulls stepped up in a big way as the day continued. The S&P 500 Index found buyers right at its 50-day moving average, and in the end it was another new 13-year high for the PowerShares QQQ Trust (QQQ). Funny how just 10 days ago it was 'the big one' and we were finally going to drop 10%, if not a lot more. Guess the bears will have to continue to wait for that one." For its part, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) fought its way back from early losses to close above 16,000 for the first time since Jan. 23.
Continue reading for more on today's market, including:
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 16,027.59) began the day south of breakeven but muscled into the green ahead of the lunch hour, closing with a gain of 63.7 points, or 0.4%. It was the index's first close north of 16,000 since Jan. 23. The Dow's 23 advancers were paced by a 1.7% gain in AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T). At the back of the pack was Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO), down 2.5% after Wednesday evening's earnings release.
The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,829.83) also headed higher on the day, closing with a gain of 10.6 points, or 0.6%. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,240.67) advanced 39.4 points, adding 0.9%, to bring its winning streak to six sessions.
The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 14.14) continued its decline, closing with a drop of 0.2 point, or 1.1%. The fear barometer is up just 3.1% for the year.
A Trader's Take:
"Small-caps and the tech sector did great today. Tech has been leading all year, so that is nothing new, but small-cap strength is a welcome sign," noted Detrick. "No doubt, the Russell 2000 Index (RUT) has been lagging some this year, but all of a sudden, it is leading once again. As last year taught us, that is a good sign for higher overall stock prices."
5 Items on Our Radar Today:
For a look at today's options movers and commodities activity, head to page 2.
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