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Stocks Gain Ground in Light Trading Ahead of Friday's Jobs Report

VIX overtakes the 12 level for the first time since May 22

by 6/4/2014 4:19:39 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:

"Markets were up just slightly for the day, as participants digested the ADP employment number, which came in below what many were forecasting," noted Schaeffer's Trading Analyst Peter Bryans. "The S&P 500 Index (SPX) managed to make a new intraday high, although it was almost entirely unnoticed. The European Central Bank meeting tomorrow will be big, and then the nonfarm payrolls number and unemployment rate on Friday will round off the economic calendar for the week." While the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) spent some time on both sides of the flat line, it resolved to the upside, posting a modest gain.

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

  • Elon Musk made headlines today for two distinct reasons, and Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) enthusiasts were all ears.
  • Two Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) device suppliers saw unusual option activity, as the Worldwide Developers Conference continued.
  • Pre-earnings predictions for three names reporting tomorrow.
  • Plus ... The Beige Book reveals growth, private-sector employment disappoints, and Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN) call sellers see resistance ahead.
Trading Topic of the Week -- Trading Low-Priced Options: DO buy higher-delta options. The closer an option's delta is to 1.00 (for a call, or negative 1.00 for a put), the likelier it is that the option will retain some intrinsic value at expiration. This offers you some "insurance" against the possibility of a total loss.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 16,737.53) traded lower for the early portion of the day, before heading into the green ahead of the noon hour. By the close, the blue-chip index had tacked on 15.2 points, or 0.1%. Travelers Companies Inc (NYSE:TRV) led the Dow's 16 advancers with a 1.4% advance; General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) was the worst for wear, shedding 0.9%.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,927.88) tagged a new all-time intraday high of 1,928.63 before closing up 3.6 points, or 0.2%, to end at a new closing peak as well. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,251.64) outperformed its index peers, rising 17.6 points, or 0.4%.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 12.08) added 0.2 point, or 1.8%, to close north of the 12 level for the first time since May 22. On a weekly basis, the market's "fear barometer" has added 6%.

CLOSING SUMMARY – INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY – NYSE AND NASDAQ

5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. The Federal Reserve's Beige Book -- which tracks regional business conditions in all 12 Fed districts -- revealed expansion across the board. Specifically, the growth pace was either "moderate" or "modest" in the regions, with the employment picture improving while the real estate picture remained "mixed." (CNBC )
  2. The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said its services sector index rose to a nine-month high of 56.3 in May, surpassing economists' estimates. Readings above 50 are indicative of expansion, and this was the index's 53rd consecutive month above this key threshold. (Reuters, via FOX Business)
  3. ADP reported that 179,000 jobs were added in the private sector last month, falling short of estimates. Economists were expecting the addition of 215,000 new jobs. Small businesses did the most hiring during the month, adding 82,000 employees, versus 61,000 for medium businesses and 37,000 for large firms. (Forbes)
  4. Call writers are betting on a longer-term ceiling of resistance for Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN).
  5. Under Armour Inc (NYSE:UA) earned an upgrade today, on the heels of a recent move higher.
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