"Today was a crazy one, with the late rally on rumors," exclaimed Schaeffer's Senior Technical Strategist Ryan Detrick. The Dow Jones Industrial Average navigated a range of nearly 180 points, spent time on both sides of breakeven, breached the 13,000 level at one point, and closed -- somewhat astonishingly -- with only modest losses.
Continue reading for more on today's market, including:
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) went on a wild ride today, plunging to an intraday low of 12,964.08 in afternoon trading -- the index's first trip south of 13,000 since Dec. 5 -- but paring most of these losses in a late-session show of strength. By the close, the average had given back 18.3 points, or 0.1%, and was perched back above the 13,000 round-number mark. Six of its 30 components closed in the black, led by UnitedHealth (NYSE:UNH), IBM (NYSE:IBM), and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), which all gained 0.4%. Bringing up the rear was Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO), with a loss of 1.4% on the day. Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) was flat for the session.
Price action was similarly volatile for the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and the Nasdaq Composite (COMP). The SPX closed with a loss of 1.7 points (0.1%) after an early visit to the 1,401.80 mark. The tech-rich COMP settled with a modest pullback of 4.3 points, or 0.1%.
The CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX) was little changed, down 0.01 point.
A Trader's Take:
"Rumors, rumors, rumors," quipped Detrick. "We were down close to 150 points [on the Dow] at the lows, then a rumor about a budget vote on Sunday started to circulate. That was all it took. If you are a bullish on this market," he continued, "you had to love today's huge intraday reversal. We are nearing the final two trading days of the year and normally that's a bullish time, but this year is anything but normal! In the end, I think the best thing about today is we are one day closer to finally getting some type of fiscal-cliff resolution."
3 Things to Know About Today's Market:
Plus ... Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC) is reportedly testing a system wherein technicians would report for duty within a one-hour estimated window (versus the four-hour time block currently used). In early tests, the 60-minute time period was honored 98% of the time. Cosmo Kramer would be so proud.
Today's Top Tweet:
"If I find myself thinking like everyone else, or agreeing with everyone ... that's usually a sign I need to change my thinking."
@jfahmy, 11:00 a.m.
5 Stocks We Were Watching Today:
Question of the Day:
Q: Will 2012 options volume surpass 2011 levels?
A: According to the Options Clearing Corporation (OCC), total options trading volume reached nearly 4.6 billion contracts in 2011, topping 2010 figures by 17%, clearing the 4 billion threshold for the first time, and setting a ninth consecutive annual record. This year, however, total option volume is likely to drop for the first time since 2002. Current data from the OCC shows total options volume of 3.72 billion contracts.
For a look at today's options movers and commodities activity, head to page 2.
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