As investors took some profits off the table and digested the day's various economic reports, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) took a step back, closing off roughly 21 points. "It made sense for the market to take a little breather after yesterday's huge rally," Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell noted, "so the slight pullback was not a shock."
Continue reading for more on today's market, including:
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) spent the majority of today's session south of breakeven, as a quick trip into positive territory was cut short by the Fed-minutes news. The blue-chip average closed off its intraday low of 13,358.30 to finish with a loss of 21.2 points, or close to 0.2%. A dozen of the 30 components finished higher on the day, led by Merck (NYSE:MRK), which rallied 2.4%. The worst performer was UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH), as it surrendered 4.7% following a downgrade from Deutsche Bank. Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) ended flat for the session.
In similar fashion, the S&P 500 Index (SPX), lost 3.1 points in Thursday's trading, shedding 0.2%, while the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) lagged its peers, dropping 11.7 points, or 0.4%.
Despite the market's pullback, the CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX) still continued to drift lower, inching down 0.1 point, or 0.8%.
A Trader's Take:
"We got a slew of economic reports related to the labor market today, but most of them failed to impress and didn't inspire much buying," Bell observed. "What was a little unexpected, though, was the information from the Fed minutes, which basically revealed that several members saw a need to halt QE efforts well before the end of 2013. This news," Bell reported, "was met with an increase in selling pressure toward the end of the day."
3 Things to Know About Today's Market:
Plus ... Twitter is now valued at more than $11 billion, at least according to one analyst who tracks the secondary markets. Fueling the site's perceived value are rumors that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) may be interested in purchasing it. As recently as December 2010, Twitter's value was estimated at $3.7 billion. While there are hopes that another high-profile IPO could be looming, Twitter's CEO recently said there are no plans to take the company public.
Today's Top Tweet:
"Mark Weinstein (Market Wizard): 'Be your own person. Think against the herd, as they must lose in time' $$"
@matterhornbob, (BCarter), 10:03 a.m.
5 Stocks We Were Watching Today:
Question of the Day:
Q: What are the "Dogs of the Dow"?
A: The "Dogs of the Dow" theory is not -- as is one notion -- simply a grouping of the worst-performing names from the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Rather, it's the 10 Dow names with the highest dividend yields (dividend amount relative to stock price). As yield and price are inversely related, high yields often go hand in hand with some of the worst performers (hence, the popular misconception). Still, a popular strategy at the beginning of the year is to buy the 10 "Dog" stocks in hopes that these underperformers bottom out and produce gains. In fact, Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) just went from worst to first, turning in the poorest performance among Dow stocks in 2011 ,and then emerging as the best Dow name in 2012.
For a look at today's options movers and commodities activity, head to page 2.
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