"Disappointing trade data out of China was what had traders talking today," observed Schaeffer's Senior Technical Strategist Ryan Detrick, CMT. "As a result, Asian markets were hit hard, and the materials group took a big dip also. In the end, after solid gains last week, U.S. markets held up rather well, all things considered." In fact, although the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) was off nearly 119 points at its low-water mark today, it settled with a loss of just 34 points.
Continue reading for more on today's market, including:
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 16,418.68) moved sharply lower out of the gate and bottomed at 16,334.20 around 11 a.m. ET. Buyers began to emerge in the afternoon hours, however, and the blue-chip index closed with a loss of 34 points, or 0.2%. Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) rose 0.8% today, to lead the eight advancers on the Dow. The Boeing Company's (NYSE:BA) 1.3% decline paced the index's 22 decliners.
The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,877.17) slumped into midday along with the Dow, but came within a chip shot of a positive finish. By the closing bell, the index was off just 0.9 point, or close to 0.1%. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,334.45) also moved slightly lower, giving back 1.8 points, or less than 0.1%.
The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 14.20) edged higher, as the major market indexes explored negative territory. By the closing bell, the market's "fear gauge" had added 0.1 point, or 0.6%.
A Trader's Take:
"Interestingly, once again financials held tough," noted Detrick. "The first two months of the year this sector lagged, but all of a sudden they are holding up well here. We like to see that, as leaders tend to take turns, versus seeing the whole market dump. Right now, financials holding tough might be a sign that any weakness could be shallow. Overall, the U.S. bucked some of the weakness out of Asia. I hate to say it was just 'profit taking,' as that sounds so cliché, but in the end the bears had a major chance today and couldn't do much with it. Something else to consider is that historically, the middle of March is a very strong time for stocks. This is a rather light week on the economic front, so could we see a continued moved higher? I sure wouldn't want to bet against it."
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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