"It was a relatively quiet end to the week, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) leading the way," Schaeffer's Senior Technical Strategist Ryan Detrick, CMT, summed up. "There wasn't much news out there, as much of the East Coast is still stuck in the snow, and the upcoming three-day weekend didn't help volume. The bottom line is the bulls really took charge this week and the S&P 500 Index (SPX) found support right at its 50-day moving average."
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 16,154.39) continued its upward march, closing with a gain of 126.8 points, or 0.8%, after starting the day below breakeven. The Dow added 2.3% during the week but remains down 2.5% year-to-date. All but three of the Dow's 30 components finished higher today, paced by UnitedHealth Group Inc (NYSE:UNH), which gained 3.2%. Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) brought up the rear with a 1.7% drop.
The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,838.63) also ended solidly higher, adding 8.8 points, or 0.5%, to bring its weekly gain to 2.3% as well. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,244.03) was the day's underperformer, rising 3.4 points, or 0.1%. For the week, however, the COMP surged 2.9%, and is in positive territory for 2014.
The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 13.57) lost ground for the seventh consecutive session and breached the 14 mark. By the close, the "fear gauge" was off 0.6 point, or 4%. This week, the VIX gave back 11.2%.
A Trader's Take:
"Earnings season is basically over, and in the end, earnings were once again pretty solid," continued Detrick. "The estimates are that quarterly earnings grew over 8% from last year, making it the best performance since late 2011. Is the economy perfect? No. Still, to see earnings making new records and continuing to expand higher is always a welcome sign. Don't forget that historically, the second half of February can be slow, but March and April have been two of the strongest months over the past 10 years."
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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