"Goldman Sachs downgraded U.S. equities to 'underweight' this morning, as they see risk of a 10% drawdown, and this may have pressured stocks lower," said Schaeffer's Senior Options Strategist Tony Venosa, CMT. "However, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) is still holding above December's lows, as well as its significant 40-day moving average." Meanwhile, some tapering comments made by a regional Fed president also weighed on the market, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) suffered its lowest daily close since Dec. 20.
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After a brief stint in the black this morning, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 16,257.94) gradually declined throughout the day, and ended up finishing 179.1 points, or 1.1%, lower. Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) was the Dow's sole advancer -- gaining 6.5% on encouraging news surrounding its blood clot-preventing treatment -- while Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) paced the 29 laggards with a drop of 2.9%.
The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,819.20) charted a similar path as the Dow, and shed 23.2 points, or 1.3%, for the session. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,113.30) fell 61.4 points, or 1.5%.
Elsewhere, the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 13.28) spent much of the morning in the red, but reversed course to close 1.1 points, or 9.4%, higher on the day.
5 Items on Our Radar Today:
For a look at today's options movers and commodities activity, head to page 2.
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