"After a very rough end to last week, early on it seemed like more of the same," said Schaeffer's Senior Equities Analyst Joe Bell, CMT. "Small-caps and technology stood out as the big underperformers today. Fortunately for the bulls, many sectors finished well off their lows as traders continued to buy the dip." Against this backdrop, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) spent time on both sides of breakeven before settling modestly lower.
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 15,837.88) traded in a 159-point range, but ultimately closed on a modest loss of 41.2 points, or 0.3%. Visa Inc (NYSE:V) paced the 16 declining Dow members with a 2.3% pullback, while Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT) led the 13 gainers with a 5.9% pop. JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) finished flat.
The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,781.56) also spent some time on positive ground, but closed on a dip of 8.7 points, or 0.5%. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,083.61) swallowed the steepest drop, shedding 44.6 points, or 1.1%.
Following a short-lived intraday surge up to 18.99, the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 17.42) ended on an anticlimactic note, shedding 0.7 point, or roughly 4%.
A Trader's Take:
"Although December home sales came in worse than expected, it was interesting to see homebuilders recover quite a bit intraday and show some relative strength," observed Bell. "Meanwhile, all eyes will be on tech giant Apple as it reports earnings tonight."
5 Items on Our Radar Today:
For a look at today's options movers and commodities activity, head to page 2.
The Case for Big Moves in IWM and QQQ
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