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Stocks Drag to a Close, End the Week With Mixed Results

Gold closes higher for the third straight week

by 2/21/2014 4:20:33 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:

"After the incredible bounce that has occurred during the past two weeks, it made sense for the market to take a bit of a breather, " noted Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell, CMT. "Earnings season is winding down, and with the exception of a few event-driven moves, we didn't see very much volatility today." The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) hit its intraday high shortly after the open, and moved steadily lower for the remainder of the session, ultimately closing with a modest loss.

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

Plus ... A drop in existing home sales, a possible new venture for, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), and a post-earnings downgrade for Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT).

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 16,103.30) spent much of the day in positive territory, but ended with a loss of 29.9 points, or 0.2%, losing 0.3% for the week. Twelve of the Dow's 30 components ended higher on the day, led by Nike Inc (NYSE:NKE) and The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS), which each gained 1.2%. Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS) was unchanged on the day, and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) paced the declining majority, off 1.8%.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,836.25) also lost ground, slipping 3.5 points, or 0.2%, by the close. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,263.41) edged 4.1 points, or 0.1%, lower on the day. On a weekly basis, the SPX surrendered 0.1%, but the COMP added 0.5%.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 14.68) continued to falter, giving back 0.1 point, or 0.7%, bringing its weekly gain to 8.2%.



A Trader's Take:

"There weren't too many major market drivers this morning," added Bell, "but it was pretty noteworthy that the homebuilding sector outperformed after less-than-stellar housing stats. The sector has held up well in the face of a slow winter and could have a lot of upside."

5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. Sales of existing homes dropped 5.1% in January from the previous month, hitting an 18-month low, per the National Association of Realtors. The disappointing results were largely chalked up to winter weather, though higher prices and limited inventory also played a role. (USA Today)
  2., Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) has reportedly reached out to traditional brick-and-mortar establishments such as J. Crew Group and Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE:ANF) for a potential retailing arrangement. Under the proposed terms, the stores would peddle their wares through their own sites (linked from Amazon) and may use Amazon Prime resources to fulfill any online orders. (The Wall Street Journal)
  3. As Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) continues to move higher, one option seller adjusted his neutral-to-bearish bet.
  4. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) suffered a downgrade in the wake of yesterday's earnings report.
  5. Our Option Idea of the Week details why Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE:DAL) may be set to soar higher.

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

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