Dow Falls for a Third Straight Day on Tapering Fears

Gold futures suffer largest daily drop in over two months

by 12/12/2013 4:25:03 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:

"The negative momentum continued today, although small-caps actually became the leader rather than the laggard," noted Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell, CMT. "After a strong November jobs report, December is off to a very weak start so far. Much of this can be attributed to late-year profit taking, but the short-term trend is definitely down right now." As tapering fears continued to plague investors, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) closed in the red for a third consecutive session.

Continue reading for more on today's market, including:

plus...
    Weekly jobless claims rose more than expected, retail sales gained ground in November, and Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX) attracted a rare group of put buyers.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 15,739.43) faltered yet again today, and sank to an intraday low of 15,703.79 around midday. By the close, the blue-chip index was down 104.1 points, or 0.7%. The Dow's six advancers were led by Exxon Mobil Corporation's (NYSE:XOM) 1.2% gain, while a 2.3% drop for The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) paced the 24 decliners.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,775.50) also spent most of the session south of breakeven, and settled 6.7 points, or 0.4%, lower. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 3,998.40) shed 5.4 points, or 0.1%, for the day.

Elsewhere, the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 15.54) reached an intraday high of 16.09 around 12:30 p.m. ET today, but pared some of its gains to finish just 0.1 point, or 0.8%, higher.

CLOSING SUMMARY  INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY  NYSE AND NASDAQ

A Trader's Take:

"Again, the best thing about today's market was the performance of small-caps," Bell reiterated. "After lagging the rest of the market since the end of November, they all of a sudden became the front-runners. Some strength from this area could be a good sign, as small-caps led for most of the rally this year."

3 Things to Know About Today's Market:

  • The Labor Department said first-time jobless claims climbed by 68,000 last week to 368,000 -- surpassing consensus estimates, and marking their highest level in two months. Meanwhile, the four-week moving average for new filings rose by 6,000 to 328,750. (MarketWatch)
  • Retail sales rose by 0.7% in November, according to the Commerce Department. This latest figure marked the largest increase in five months, and slightly exceeded economists' projections. (Reuters)
  • Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) surged today amid news that it will be joining the S&P 500 Index (SPX) at the end of next week, replacing Teradyne, Inc. (NYSE:TER). The Internet stock will also replace Williams Companies, Inc. (NYSE:WMB) on the S&P 100 Index (OEX). In other news, FB unveiled a new version of Instagram, its popular photo-sharing service. (BloombergBusinessweek, USA Today)

5 Stocks We Were Watching Today:

  1. Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) received a bullish brokerage note following a lawsuit development involving Samsung Electronics Co.
  2. Option bears showed an unusual interest in Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX), and scooped up the java giant's near-term puts.
  3. Groupon Inc's (NASDAQ:GRPN) sentiment backdrop reveals a bearish bias toward the security, despite its technical prowess.
  4. Put volume accelerated on Molycorp Inc (NYSE:MCP), as speculators wagered on record lows for the mining concern.
  5. Short-term traders targeted Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR), with both call and put players showing a preference for weekly options.
EARNINGS

For a look at today's options movers and commodities activity, head to page 2.

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