Even though we closed in the green, trading was pretty flattish for most of the afternoon and the tape was remarkably quiet as investors await the delivery of several critical economic data this week and as the crisis in Egypt unfolds in the background. There was an uptick in buying and on the whole the tape remains very resilient, but there wasn't an awful lot of "high conviction" chasing. Cyclicals and financials led the market higher, while defensives, tech, and discretionary lagged.
Commodities were mixed as the dollar weakened. Gold pared its gain from last Friday while Silver posted a slight gain Crude Oil ended near its highs of the day, despite a canal official saying earlier that the Suez Canal is working as normal
The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended up 68.23 points, or 0.58%, to close at 11,891. The S&P 500 rose 9.78 points, or 0.77%, to close at 1286, and the NASDAQ was up 13.19 points, or 0.49%, to finish at 2700.
The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) closed down 2.54%, at 19.53 Friday, on overall put volume of 137,000 contracts compared to 174,000 call contracts, with February 19 puts as the most active series.
SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) ended up $0.96, at $128.68, on overall put volume of 895,000 contracts compared to 511,000 call contracts, with February (W) and monthly 125 puts as the most actively series.
The PowerShares QQQ Trust (QQQQ) finished up $0.27, at $57.00, on overall put contract volume of 327,000 contracts compared to 160,000 call contracts, with February 56 puts as the most actively traded series.
Looking ahead to the week of January 31, we are done w/the most "systemically" important earnings (i.e. the big industrials, tech and bank results). Even though there are still a slew of results to come, the more important sectors/companies have reported. 70% of companies that have reported earnings this season have beaten revenue estimates. The Health Care sector has the highest revenue beat rate so far this earnings season at 85.7%. Health Care is followed by Industrials (77.3%), Energy (76.5%), and Technology (70.6%). Next week, watch for a shift towards media, life insurance and European financials. Bernanke will be speaking to the National Press Club on Thursday, February 3 to explain this past Wednesday's FOMC decision. Finally, January economic data points will be released next week, including PMIs from China and the U.S., but the most important will be the U.S. jobs report on Friday, February 4. Most economic data have shown nice improvement, but this has not been the case with jobs.
The following notable companies are reporting the remainder of the week of January 31: Tuesday before the open: ADM, AMG, ARM, AAXE, BIIB, BP, CE, CMI, COCO, COV, CVLT, EMN, EMR, HNT, IFNNY, KLIC, LSTR, LXK, MHP, PFE, PNR, TUP, UPS; after the close: ADS, AFL, AJG, APKT, BBND, BRCM, BSX, CCUR, ERTS, FORM, JDAS, MANH, MEE, NLC, PLT, UIS, WFR, WBSN, WU; Wednesday before the open: ANFGY, AOL, ARW, ATMI, AVY, CAM, CNW, CVG, HSP, HSY, IACI, LVLT, LZ, MAN, MAT, MRO, NDAQ, NMR, NVO, RHHBY, TMO, TWX, WHR; after the close: ACE, AIZ, AMP, AVB, BMC, CDNS, CINF, CYMI, HIG, ISIL, NETL, NWS, OTEX, RNOW, SFLY, THQI, TSO, UNM, V, YUM; Thursday before the open: AMB, AN, ARJ, BCO, BDC, BX, CAH, CI, CME, CVS, DB, DO, DOW, EL, GR, GSK, HAR, HOT, IP, ITG, K, MA, MCO, MF, MRK, NOV, NYT, ONNN, PENN, R, RAI, RDS, SNE, UN/UL, VIA; Friday before the open: ABC, AET, AIV, AON, AVID, CLX, MGI, PHM, SPG, TDW, TSN, WY
Economic Data for the remainder of the week of January 31: Tuesday: December Construction Spending, January ISM Index and February Auto and Truck Sales; Wednesday: MBA Mortgage Purchase Index, January Challenger Job Cuts, January ADP Employment Change and Crude Inventories; Thursday: Preliminary Q4 Productivity, Q4 Unit Labor Costs, 1/29 Initial Claims, December Factory Orders, January ISM Services and Retail comps; Friday: Employment Report and Treasury STRIPS.
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