Stimulus Hopes Lift Stocks from Intraday Lows

August 23, 2012 /

“We had another relatively flat day, but the Fed and Europe began getting a lot more attention, as the FOMC minutes were released late this afternoon,” remarked Schaeffer’s Senior Equities Analyst Joe Bell.

More members seem to be getting on board with QE3, which perhaps led to some late-day buying. In fact, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) bounced from its session low of 13,120.34, and pared a large portion of its near 78-point deficit, by the time the closing bell rang.

Although the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI – 13,172.76) did reclaim some of its lunchtime losses, the index settled lower for a second straight day, falling 30.8 points, or 0.2%. Sixteen of the 30 blue chips turned in wins, as E I Du Pont De Nemours And Co ( DD ) paced the outperforming issues with an 0.8% gain. Meanwhile, Hewlett-Packard Company ( HPQ ) led the 14 laggards with a 3.7% decline.

On the other hand, the S&P 500 Index (SPX – 1,413.49) and Nasdaq Composite (COMP – 3,073.67) rebounded from their intraday deficits and ran higher for the day. The SPX eked out a 0.3-point, or 0.02%, rise, while the COMP advanced 6.4 points, or 0.2%.

The CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX – 15.11) marked its third consecutive day in positive territory — and its second session in a row atop 15 — inching up by 0.6%.

“Many traders believe an asset purchase program could provide support for a market that has already performed quite well this year,” said Bell. “With more and more institutions hedging themselves with VIX-related calls recently, the market could have a nice cushion should we experience any type of pullback.”

Crude futures turned higher for a second straight day, following the Energy Information Administration (EIA) report of a bigger-than-projected drop in weekly crude supplies. The commodity shrugged off some weakness, after the minutes from the most recent Federal Open Market Committee suggested that financial stimulus could be necessary unless macroeconomic data shows more strengthening. By the close, October-dated oil added 42 cents, or 0.4%, to $97.26 a barrel — marking black gold’s highest settlement since early May.

On the contrary, gold futures reversed yesterday’s rally and closed modestly lower, as buyers stayed on the sidelines ahead of today’s FOMC monetary-policy meeting report. Gold for December delivery dropped $2.40, or 0.2%, to end at $1,640.50 an ounce.


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