"The short-term positive momentum that began earlier this week continued today," observed Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell, CMT. "According to the ADP employment report, private-sector jobs rose by 191,000 in March, which was actually below the consensus view. We did get a pretty nice upward revision in the February jobs number, though. And overall, the report did little to shake the markets, as the slow grind higher continued." The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) continued to flirt with new-high territory, but narrowly missed the mark, closing moderately higher.
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 16,573.00) added 40.4 points, or more than 0.2%, but remains in negative territory for 2014 by the slimmest of margins. (The blue-chip index ended 2013 at 16,576.66.) Of the Dow's 30 components, 19 ended the day higher, led by Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT), which tacked on 2.8%. American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) paced the declining minority with a drop of 0.6%.
The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,890.90) put in another all-time high close, and hit a new intraday peak of 1,893.17. By the close, the index had risen 5.4 points, or 0.3%. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,276.46) slightly lagged its peers, gaining 8.4 points, or 0.2%.
The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 13.09) ended Wednesday's session down a fraction, losing 0.01 point, after spending time on both sides of breakeven.
A Trader's Take:
"Most equities began the day pretty flat, but slowly churned higher and the SPX once again made a new all-time high on an intraday basis," summarized Bell. "Industrial stocks performed quite well, while technology stocks continued to struggle relative to many other sectors."
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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