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Bulls Take a Breather as Dow Ends in the Red

Crude oil moves to a new year-to-date high

by 2/12/2014 4:20:03 PM
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"After the S&P 500 Index (SPX) gained more than 1% in three of the past four days, the markets rested today," noted Schaeffer's Senior Technical Strategist Ryan Detrick, CMT. "It was a rather dull day, but after the run we've been on, that isn't bad. A rest versus a big drop is healthy." The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) peeked into positive territory early on, but settled with a modest loss at the closing bell.

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

  • These three stocks hit new record highs, spurring notable action in their respective options pits.
  • More ways to bet on volatility! Schaeffer's contributor Adam Warner has the details.
  • See how Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS) reached out to the fairer sex.
  • Plus ... The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG) reduces its earnings outlook, data from China offers some solace, and, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) falters after a brokerage downgrade.
Trading Topic of the Week -- Learning to Trade Like the Pros: Act like it's your job. Don't expect to score big profits by dabbling. It's important to stay engaged with the market on a daily basis.

After another valiant attempt to topple 16,000 -- hitting 16,036.56 in early trading -- the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 15,963.94) settled 30.8 points, or 0.2%, lower. Caterpillar Inc.'s (NYSE:CAT) 1.3% increase led the 16 Dow advancers, while The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG) dropped 1.7%, pacing the 14 laggards.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,819.27) was little changed, settling with a loss of 0.5 point, or 0.03%. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,201.29) outperformed its peers, gaining 10.2 points, or 0.2%, on the day.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 14.30) also fell, giving back 0.2 point, or 1.5%.



A Trader's Take:

"Historically -- in terms of the markets --- the second year of the Presidential cycle has a rough January and bottoms in late January or early February," added Detrick. "Considering this is the second year of the cycle, it is rather intriguing how well this year is playing out, based on history."

5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. Consumer-products giant The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG) reduced its 2014 earnings and revenue outlook, due to stresses surrounding emerging market currencies. The Dow name now expects core earnings-per-share growth of 3%-5%, down from earlier estimates of up to 7%. Sales are expected to be flat or rise up to 2%, versus a previous outlook for revenue growth of 1% to 2%. (Reuters, via CNBC)
  2. China announced better-than-expected export and import growth in January, assuaging concerns that the world's second-largest economy has its foot on the brakes. The country's trade surplus hit $31.9 billion last month, the widest January surplus in five years. (Bloomberg)
  3. One aggressive bear used short calls and long puts to place a longer-term bet against Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NYSE:AMD).
  4., Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) stumbled today, after being slapped with a downgrade and a $75 price-target reduction this morning.
  5. Is Sirius XM Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:SIRI) headed above years-old resistance at the $4 level?

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

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