"Economic data was mostly light -- the Empire State manufacturing survey was the lone 'A-list' item, and topped expectations -- and there were no major earnings reports," stated Schaeffer's Trading Analyst Peter Bryans. Aside from a slew of M&A activity, "It was a rather slow day," with the major market indexes dancing around breakeven for most of the session. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) ultimately resolved to the upside, though, inching 5 points higher.
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 16,781.01) explored both sides of breakeven, but eked out a gain of 5.3 points, or less than 0.1%, by the close. Sixteen of the Dow's 30 blue chips ended higher, led by The Home Depot, Inc.'s (NYSE:HD) 1.1% rise. UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE:UNH) paced the declining minority, shedding 1.5%.
The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,937.78) followed a similar path, settling a wishy-washy session with a gain of 1.6 points, or about 0.1%. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,321.11) fared the best of its peers, advancing 10.5 points, or 0.2%.
The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 12.65) spent the session comfortably higher, tacking on 0.5 point, or 3.9%, by the bell.
A Trader's Take:
"Futures were lower ahead of the bell, likely due to the situation in Iraq," added Bryans. "However, the S&P 500 muscled into positive territory, and the Russell 2000 Index (RUT) remains higher year-to-date."
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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