Dow Jones Industrial Average Stays Volatile; Nasdaq Outperforms

Is Now the Time to Buy VIX Calls?

Jul 30, 2015 at 4:24 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) explored a triple-digit range for the eighth consecutive session (but failed to notch a sixth straight triple-digit close), though it had little to show for it at the closing bell. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP), on the other hand, outperformed. Traders responded to this morning's updates on the U.S. economy and the employment backdrop, looking for signs that could possibly strengthen the Fed's case for a September rate hike. Earnings also commanded Wall Street's attention, with social media maven Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) and online travel company MakeMyTrip Limited (NASDAQ:MMYT) among the many names that endured notable reactions.

 

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

 

 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA - 17,745.98) spent time on both sides of breakeven today, eventually closing 5.4 points lower. Sixteen of the Dow's 30 components gained ground, led by United Technologies Corporation's (NYSE:UTX) 1.4% advance. Procter & Gamble Co (NYSE:PG) paced the 14 decliners with its 4% earnings-induced drop.

 

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,108.63) ended not far from where it started the session, eking out a fractional gain. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 5,128.78), meanwhile, outperformed its peers, adding 17.1 points, or 0.3%.

 

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 12.13) gave back 0.4 point, or 3% -- and brought its month-to-date deficit to 33.5%.

 

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5 Items on Our Radar Today
:

 

  1. Just one day after the Federal Reserve left the door open for a possible September rate hike, the Commerce Department said second-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) grew at 2.3% annualized rate. Additionally, first-quarter GDP was revised up to a gain of 0.6%, compared to previous estimates of a contraction. (Bloomberg)
  2. The Obama administration has asked the Supreme Court to review last year's ruling on insider trading, which narrowed the definition of what insider trading is and how it is prosecuted. In today's challenge, the Department of Justice said the previous ruling will "hurt market participants, disadvantage scrupulous market analysts, and impair the government's ability to protect the fairness and integrity of the securities markets." (USA Today)
  3. Bears cheered as Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc (NYSE:HOT) erased early gains, after reports the company could be in talks to merge with one of its rivals were quickly laid to rest.
  4. Option bulls have been upping the ante on Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), which recently won the bidding war for this highly anticipated series.
  5. It was a tough day for these 2 oil-and-gas issues, which each lost more than a quarter of their value after reporting earnings. Next up -- Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM).

 

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Commodities:

 

A strengthening greenback in the wake of this morning's GDP data sent crude oil lower. By the close, the September-dated contract was off 27 cents, or 0.6%, at $48.52 per barrel.

 

Gold futures also succumbed to the rising dollar. At session's end, gold for December delivery -- now the most active contract -- was down $4.60, or 0.4%, at $1,088.70 per ounce.

 

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