Early in today’s session the market looked like it was poised for a rousing start to the 4th quarter, but the rally faded and bulls were forced to settle with a mixed close. The Dow posted solid gains at 0.58%, while the Nasdaq slumped to a small loss. The S&P continues to hover near its 21-day moving average, and traders are waiting for the next definitive break before making big bets. Better-than-expected ISM manufacturing numbers provided an early boost, but the market couldn’t hold those gains as traders digested Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke’s comments on monetary policy.
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) continued lower after Friday’s sell-off. Thursday’s Red Dog Reversal had given traders a chance for a quick cash-flow long trade, but AAPL’s inability to reclaim its 21-day MA was a tell-tale sign that a deeper pull-back was imminent. AAPL broke below pivot lows today, finishing down 1.16%, and looks poised to test its 50-day moving average around $650-651.
Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) remains the star among the high-beta tech stocks. The stock briefly made a new all-time high at $765 before pulling back slightly, but still finished the day up 0.96%. Headlines today read that GOOG is closing in on the market cap of Microsoft (MSFT), capping a meteoric rise for the search-based company. AAPL and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) are both waging a way against the Google machine, but investors seem to believe the company is strong enough to prosper.
Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) was able to hold on to its overnight gains following a bullish cover story from Barron’s over the weekend. Barron’s stated its case that investors should keep their faith in the “smartest bank on Wall Street,” and that the current share price represents good value. GS was up nearly 5% at one point early in the session, but had to settle for a 2.8% gain on the day.
Disclosure: Scott Redler has no positions