Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Market Gains on Low Volume

A quick overview of Monday's trading follows. More on Tuesday after the bell.

Awaiting the 3rd quarter earnings report from Apple (AAPL), investors were encouraged by the number of S&P companies which reported earnings better than estimates (78%) last week and further weakness in the dollar as the session unfolded.

Dow 10,092.19, +96.28 (0.96%)
NASDAQ 2,176.32, +19.52 (0.88%)
S&P 500 1,097.91, +10.23 (0.94%)
NYSE Composite 7,222.21, +88.25 (1.13%)

Advancing issues led losers, 4415-1889. There were 819 stocks making new 52-week highs, to 100 new lows. Volume was exceedingly low, signaling a large degree of caution at the very start of the biggest week of earnings reports. If the low volume pattern continues through the next few days, it could be indicative of a short-term market top. However, most companies have not yet reported, so not much can be read into one day's trading volume.

NYSE Volume 3,816,968,500
NASDAQ Volume 1,725,801,875

Oil reached a new high for the year, trading up $1.08, to $79.61. Gold advanced $7.90, to $1,066.00. Silver tacked on 21 cents, to close at $17.63 per ounce.

Besides Apple reporting after the close, five Dow components will report prior to Tuesday's opening bell. Caterpillar (CAT), Pfizer (PFE), United Technologies (UTX), Coca-Cola (KO) and DuPont (DD) are the companies reporting.

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