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Bulls Stay Focused, Driving S&P 500 to New All-Time High

Gold retreats to its lowest point in over three months

by 5/27/2014 4:20:53 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:

"After the long weekend -- and following a lack of any really significant economic data in the prior week -- durable goods orders came in better than expected," reported Schaeffer's Trading Analyst Peter Bryans. "The S&P/Case-Shiller home price index also came in higher than what many were expecting, although homebuilders still showed signs of weakness. Financials, meanwhile, were the leaders for most of the trading day. It could be a positive sign for the market if the weaker sectors (e.g. financials and consumer discretionary) can now take a leadership role." As the S&P 500 Index (SPX) broke out to another new all-time high, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) continued to gain ground, coming within striking distance of its own historical peak.

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

Trading Topic of the Week -- Tips for Buying Weekly Options: Buyers should avoid sluggish stocks. Don't use weekly options to bet on a slowly trending blue chip -- you need a fast, aggressive move in the right direction.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 16,675.50) moved further into positive territory for the year today, adding 69.2 points, or 0.4%. At its intraday high of 16,688.69, it was a mere 47 points shy of notching its own all-time high. Of the Dow's 30 components, 21 closed higher today, led by a 2.9% jump in American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) shares. International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) and The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG) -- both of which dropped 0.6% -- paced the declining minority.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,911.91) spent the day above the flat line, notching a new all-time high of 1,912.28 and registering a new closing high, as well. By the bell, the large-cap index had gained 11.4 points, or 0.6%. Elsewhere, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,237.07) outperformed its index peers as momentum stocks bounced higher. The tech-rich index closed Tuesday's session with a gain of 51.3 points, or 1.2%.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 11.51) also moved higher, despite a rise in equities. After spending the day in positive territory, the market's "fear gauge" closed with a gain of 0.2 point, or 1.3%.

CLOSING SUMMARY – INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY – NYSE AND NASDAQ

A Trader's Take:

"One good (and perhaps the most obvious) thing about today's market was that the S&P 500 managed to hold above 1,900," added Bryans. "Bulls now want to see some additional follow-through in the Russell 2000 Index (RUT) and the COMP. We mentioned the break back above the 200-day moving average on the RUT this past Friday, and we had another gap higher in the indexes this morning that held for the trading day."

5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. Durable goods orders increased unexpectedly in April, thanks in large part to a jump in orders for military hardware. Specifically, orders for goods designed to last at least three years rose 0.8% last month, even as economists were projecting a decline. Meanwhile, consumer confidence improved in May, per the Conference Board's latest measure, which climbed to 83 from a downwardly revised April reading of 81.7. The figure was in line with economists' estimates. (Associated Press, via USA Today; Reuters, via FOX Business)
  2. Home prices increased by a reduced pace across the board in March, according to the latest findings from the S&P/Case-Shiller housing index. Only one of 20 cities tracked, however (New York City), saw an actual decrease in housing prices on a year-over-year basis. Chicago's housing market absorbed the sharpest increase, with prices for single-family homes surging 11.5%. (CNNMoney)
  3. In merger-and-acquisition news, Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) said it would abandon the dream of scooping up AstraZeneca plc (ADR) (NYSE:AZN), as the latter continued to rebuff the pharmaceutical giant's sweetened bids. Meanwhile, Pilgrim's Pride Corporation (NASDAQ:PPC) offered $6.4 billion in cash and debt to acquire Hillshire Brands Co (NYSE:HSH). This could throw a wrench into Hillshire's recently announced plans to buy Pinnacle Foods Inc (NYSE:PF). (Yahoo! Finance)
  4. Breaking down one trader's $1.5 million call spread in Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB).
  5. Michael Kors Holdings Ltd (NYSE:KORS) scored another price-target hike ahead of its earnings report tomorrow.
EARNINGS

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

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