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Worst Session in Months for Tech; Dow Logs Triple-Digit Loss

Safe-haven demand fuels gold futures higher

by 4/4/2014 4:20:33 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:

"Once again, small-caps and technology stocks lagged today," stated Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell, CMT. "The morning started off with the highly anticipated jobs report, and overall it didn't shock the market too much, as the initial reaction was positive. After a few hours, though, it was clear many of the momentum names were lagging, and by midday almost every major sector was in the red." After muscling to another new intraday record out of the gate, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) turned tail mid-session, ultimately giving back triple digits by the close.

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

Trading Topic of the Week -- Trading Low-Priced Options: DO trade stocks with a favorable sentiment backdrop. At Schaeffer's, we use sentiment analysis to determine whether a stock's current trend is likely to continue. To maximize returns, we focus our efforts on outperforming stocks surrounded by skepticism, and lagging equities that continue to attract bullish attention.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 16,412.71) hit a new record peak of 16,631.63 in early trading, but reversed course around midday, settling with a loss of nearly 160 points, or 1%. Just four of the Dow's 30 components dodged a negative finish, led by The Coca-Cola Company's (NYSE:KO) 0.4% uptick. Visa Inc (NYSE:V) led the laggards, dropping 3.4% on the day. For the week, the Dow advanced 0.5%.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,865.09) also explored positive territory in early trading, notching a record intraday peak of 1,897.28, but suffered the same fate as its peers, surrendering 23.7 points, or 1.3%, by the close. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,127.73) fared the worst of the three major benchmarks, plunging 110 points, or 2.6% -- the tech-rich index's worst daily percentage drop since Feb. 3. For the week, the SPX added 0.4%, while the COMP gave up 0.7%.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 13.96) also explored both sides of breakeven, but busted higher as equities dropped. By the close, the "fear barometer" advanced 0.6 point, or 4.4%, to end just a hair's breadth shy of its 10-day moving average. For the week, the VIX fell 3.1%

CLOSING SUMMARY – INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY – NYSE AND NASDAQ

A Trader's Take:

"Many of the major indexes are trading near potential support areas, but the recent underperformance by technology stocks is apparent," noted Bell. "Whereas the S&P 500 Index is trading near its former March highs, the Nasdaq Composite is actually right near its March lows."

5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. U.S. nonfarm payrolls rose by 192,000 in March, the Labor Department reported, with February's gain upwardly revised to 188,000. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 6.7%, as more people entered the workforce. Economists, however, were calling for a more robust gain of 200,000 jobs, and for the unemployment rate to tick lower to 6.6%. (Bloomberg)
  2. Food delivery concern GrubHub Inc (NYSE:GRUB) made its Big Board debut to much fanfare today. While the initial public offering (IPO) was priced at $26 per share, the stock opened at $40, rallied as high as $40.80 in intraday action, and ultimately settled 30.8% higher at $34. (USA Today)
  3. Mylan Inc (NASDAQ:MYL) bucked the broad-market trend lower today. However, the pharmaceutical issue finished off its session highs, after Swedish drugmaker Meda AB spurned its buyout bid. (Reuters)
  4. Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) shareholders may be buying options insurance ahead of earnings.
  5. First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR) flew in the face of broad-market headwinds, thanks to a relatively rare bullish note from the brokerage bunch.
EARNINGS

For a look at today's options movers and commodities activity, head to page 2.

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