"In a repeat of the previous two days, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) flirted with new all-time highs, but just couldn't break through," noted Schaeffer's Senior Technical Strategist Ryan Detrick, CMT. "We've been saying 1,850 was a big area on the SPX, and that sure has been the case. It is encouraging that the market isn't just dropping hard from this level, but is instead pausing, which is a plus. Not to mention the fact that small-caps led again today. With the Russell 2000 Index (RUT) breaking out to new highs, you have to like that. Overall, it looks like only a matter of time before the SPX makes new highs. Perhaps a little more dancing around these levels -- although frustrating to both bulls and bears -- is necessary." Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) trended above the breakeven mark for most of the day, before settling with a slight gain.
Continue reading for more on today's market, including:
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 16,198.41) spent most of the day in positive territory, before settling with a modest gain of 18.8 points, or 0.1%. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) led the Dow's 17 advancers with a gain of 2%, while McDonald's Corporation (NYSE:MCD) brought up the rear, losing 0.8% today. Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) was unchanged.
The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,845.16) edged up a fraction by the closing bell, rising 0.04 point. At its intraday peak, the SPX overcame the 1,850 mark to touch 1,852.65. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,292.06) neared a new 14-year high in intraday trading and settled up 4.5 points, or 0.1%.
The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 14.35) gained ground during the session, closing 0.7 point, or 5%, higher.
A Trader's Take:
"The best thing about today's market was easily housing. New home sales numbers came out today," Detrick observed, "and they were great. We've heard so much about how the bad weather has put a damper on any and all economic data. Well, today's report was a nice change, as it shows some real growth in the face of other disappointing reports. The bottom line is that housing is a group we've liked so far this year, and after today's action, many of the stocks broke out to new highs. With housing and small-caps leading, that bodes well for the overall market here. At the same time, financials continue to lag, which is the one big problem area."
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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