Today the markets began and ended in the same pattern as the previous week: starting out high then slumping and limping into the closing bell. At 11:30 AM this morning, the DOW was 94 points higher, the S&P was ahead by 11, and the NASDAQ was elevated 33. Out of nowhere, the DOW plunged from those highs to a decline of as much as 41 by noon and the other indices fell by proportionate amounts. By session’s end, all three major indices were just fractionally higher: the DOW finished up 1, the S&P gained 1, and the NASDAQ added 3. 

The VIX was interesting today. As the averages were reaching their best levels, the Volatility Index was also higher.  The VIX buyers must have patted themselves on the back when it climbed to 14 and stayed there to close at 14.05, up 9% for the day. 

The best stocks today, even when the market was on its low, were TSLA, AMZN and PCLN. Surpassing GM in value, TSLA closed at an all time high today and it is now the most valuable U.S. automaker. AMZN made another nice gain today after it had reached 923 last week. PCLN ran up another 6 points today after it stalled out recently by stopping just short of 1800.

Bond yields were slightly lower with the 10-year Treasury Note at 2.35%. Gold took a breather at $1,255 after its post-missile launch buying panic. Crude oil was up to $53 a barrel and the dollar was a little weaker against the other currencies.

This week’s holiday-shortened week will include important earnings releases: Wednesday – DAL and FAST; Thursday – JPM, C, WFC and PNC.

Economic reports include: Wednesday – March import prices; Thursday – March P.P.I., preliminary April University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Survey; Friday – March C.P.I. and March retail sales.

Donald M. Selkin  

These are excerpts from Don Selkin’s Daily Market Notes, abbreviated and updated with permission from the author. Don Selkin is the Chief Market Strategist at Newbridge Securities Corporation, member FINRA/SIPC and provides the Fair Value analysis for CNBC each morning.  The commentary provided in this Market Letter is intended to provide timely market analysis and should not be considered a research report.  This Market Letter may contain, and is limited to: Discussions of broad based indices; Commentaries on economic, political or market conditions; Technical analyses concerning the demand and supply for a sector, index or industry based in trading volume and price; Statistical summaries of multiple companies’ financial data, including listings of current ratings; and, Recommendations regarding increasing or decreasing holdings in particular industries or securities.  This Market Letter does not make a financial or investment recommendation or otherwise promotes a product or service of the firm.   This Market Letter contains only news, facts, and commentary on information previously reported from a news source believed to be accurate and reliable by the author.  These news sources include the following: Bloomberg Financial, Reuters, and the Associated Press.