"The highly discussed referendum vote in Crimea is this weekend, and whenever there is uncertainty, most market participants would rather take some risk off the table," reported Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell, CMT. "This is exactly what we've experienced during the past week. The S&P 500 Index (SPX) is now trading near former resistance from January, and we are seeing some buyers emerge at this area. The bulls will definitely want to see this area hold as support." Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) declined for a fifth consecutive session, despite a few attempts to peek into positive territory. For the week, the blue-chip index surrendered 2.4%.
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 16,065.67) took its fifth consecutive tumble, losing 43.2 points, or 0.3%, and bringing its weekly deficit to 2.4%. The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) paced the Dow's 10 advancers with a gain of 1%; UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE:UNH) brought up the rear, falling 1.7%.
The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,841.13) traded in positive territory for much of the first half of the session, but closed with a loss of 5.2 points, or 0.3%. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,245.40) also fell, shedding 15 points, or 0.4%. For the week, the SPX dropped nearly 2%, while the COMP gave back 2.1%.
The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 17.82) continued to sprint higher, finishing up 9.9%, or 1.6 points, at its highest close since Feb. 5. This week, the VIX spiked 26.3%.
A Trader's Take:
"It's interesting just how high option premiums are lately," noted Bell. "They are more than double historical volatility over the past 20 days, and it's clear there is a lot of nervousness out there surrounding the Ukraine situation. It's also notable that retail sales and jobs figures have actually shown signs of improvement compared to the disappointing winter months, but this news is getting pushed aside for the time being."
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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