"European markets were down quite a bit today, which set a negative tone for U.S. markets in early trading," reported Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell, CMT, of a day that saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) move further into the red, ending January with a 5.3% loss. "Most major market indexes are trading around their December lows, which have pretty much defined the bottom of this week's range."
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It was back into the red for the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 15,698.85) today, which closed with a loss of 149.8 points, or 0.9%, after spending the entire day south of the flatline. On a weekly basis, the Dow relinquished 1.1%, and lost 5.3% in January. Today, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) led the Dow's five advancers, with a gain of 2.7%. Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX) was at the back of the pack, shedding 4.1% following its quarterly earnings report.
The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,782.59) also lost ground, shedding 11.6 points, or 0.7%. Elsewhere, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,103.88) moved lower as well, giving back 19.3 points, or 0.5%. The SPX shed 0.4% this week and dropped 3.6% in January; the COMP peeled back 0.6% for the week and 1.7% for the month.
The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 18.41) powered through the 18 level to settle north of this mark for only the second time since mid-October. At the close, the VIX had gained 1.1 points, or 6.5%. The market's fear gauge posted a weekly gain of 1.5% and a monthly increase of 34.2%.
A Trader's Take:
"Large-caps and blue-chips once again lagged the market, while home builders and utilities performed quite well," Bell continued. "Right now there seems to be quite the battle between bulls and bears, and today, buyers tried to defend their territory. Bigger picture, we remain in a very tight range, and volatility continues."
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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