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Dow Hits 7-Week High Amid Pre-Fed Optimism

Tech outperforms as Apple (AAPL) rallies

by 12/11/2012 4:15:17 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:

Despite uncertainty ahead of tomorrow's Fed decision, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) managed a nice rally, marking a fifth consecutive positive session. "The markets were impressive overall," noted Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell, who continued, "European markets traded higher ahead of our open, which helped provide a bit of a boost early on."

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

  • Chart of the Day: How to trade the all-time high in (NYSE:CRM), by Senior Options Strategist Tony Venosa, CMT.
  • Daily Game Plan: Former broad-market resistance may now be support, according to Senior Trading Analyst Bryan Sapp .
  • In Focus: Tempted to fade the Molycorp (NYSE:MCP) rally? Here's why you shouldn't, courtesy of Senior VP of Research Todd Salamone.
  • The latest in the fiscal-cliff drama, our top five stocks to watch, and today's Tweet of the day from financial advisor John Benedict's alter ego .

Call it a five-peat for the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), which settled with a gain of 79 points, or 0.6%. Despite peeling back from its intraday peak of 13,306.57, the index did manage to register its highest daily close since Oct. 22. All but four of the Dow's 30 components moved higher on the day, led by Intel (NASDAQ:INTC), which gained 2.8%. At the back of the pack was Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT), down 1.8% on news that India's government may launch an inquiry into the retailer's lobbying practices.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX) climbed nine points on the day, or 0.7%, to overcome short-term resistance at 1,420. Turning to tech, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) surged 1.2%, or 35 points, to retake control of its 10-day moving average.

The CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX) shifted lower on the day, meanwhile, losing 0.5 point, or 3%, to once again breach the 16 mark.



A Trader's Take:

"We climbed steadily higher throughout the day and broke out of the short-term consolidation we've been experiencing for the past two weeks," observed Bell. "While this is a short-term technical win for the bulls, the 1,430 area will be the next hurdle for the S&P 500 Index to overcome. Meanwhile," he continued, "Apple continues its bounce off support near the $520 level. As a result -- and given the stock's heavy weighting within tech indices -- the technology sector was able to end the day as one of the top performers."

3 Things to Know About Today's Market:

  • House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, attempted to light a proverbial fire under the commander in chief today, while speaking in front of the House. Boehner said he was "hopeful" a bipartisan agreement would be reached, but reiterated the requirement for President Obama to submit new terms to the administration's opening proposal. Republicans are specifically looking for an outline of spending cuts to begin next year.
  • The U.S. trade gap widened 4.9% in October to $42.24 billion, reported the Commerce Department, while September's deficit was revised lower to $40.28 billion. The gap was slightly steeper than the $4.21 billion expected by economists. Also, the trade gap with China expanded 1.4% to hit a record high of $29.5 billion.
  • Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) will spend $360 million to acquire a 49% stake in Virgin Atlantic. The Atlanta-based carrier hopes the deal will secure a more significant presence at London's Heathrow Airport, as well as more trans-Atlantic business overall. The remaining 51% will remain under the control of Richard Branson's Virgin Group.

Plus ... for the third year in a row, Harvard Business School is the best place to earn one's MBA, according to Poets&Quants, which aggregates the graduate-program rankings from five sources, including Forbes and The Economist. Taking the runner-up position is Stanford, followed by the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business and the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School.

Today's Top Tweet:

"$$ The pattern of constant V shape recovery rallies is incredible. This will end once everyone starts looking for them."
@geckojb, 11:49 a.m.

5 Stocks We Were Watching Today:

  1. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) speculators have their crosshairs centered on the $500 level.
  2. Weekly call buyers gambled on Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN).
  3. Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) scored a price-target hike at Capstone Research.
  4. As the U.S. Treasury sold its remaining shares of American International Group (NYSE:AIG), short-term bulls purchased weekly calls.
  5. Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) tagged a new annual high and has nearly doubled in 2012.

Question of the Day:

Q: If I am short an in-the-money option, will it immediately be exercised?
A: As long as there is time value left in an option, it is more efficient (and often more profitable) for the option buyer to sell out of a long/purchased option rather than exercise it. Therefore, investors who have sold options that become in the money probably won't see them exercised until the time value has eroded away to nothing (or the option is very close to expiration).

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

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