"It was a perfect storm of worse-than-expected economic data this morning -- highlighted by the nonfarm payrolls report -- that pulled the market into a sea of red," lamented Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell. As the mood on Wall Street soured, keeping skeptical investors on the sidelines, stocks prolonged their weekly slide and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) drifted below breakeven for the year.
Keep reading to see what else was on our radar today:
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI – 12,118.57) drifted to its lowest point of the year today, peeling back some 274.9 points, or 2.2%. This retreat pushed the Dow below its 200-day moving average for the first time since Dec. 19, and effectively wiped clear its year-to-date gain. All 30 of the Dow's components suffered declines, as Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) and Bank of America (BAC) led the losers with losses of 6.3% and 4.5%, respectively. The blue-chip barometer gave up 2.7% for the week, marking its worst weekly settlement since Dec. 16.
Likewise, the S&P 500 Index (SPX – 1,278.04) plummeted 32.3 points, or 2.5%, losing its foothold atop its 200-day trendline. For the week, the SPX hacked off 3%. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP – 2,747.48) gave up its perch above its 200-day moving average, and plunged 79.9 points, or 2.8%. The COMP fared the worst of its fellow benchmarks for the week, falling 3.2%.
The CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX – 26.66) climbed 10.8% today, finishing just off its session peak of 26.71, and marking its first daily close atop 26 since Dec. 14. For the week, the VIX leapt 22.5%
Today's highlight: "To be blunt, the only safe haven from today's payrolls report was in treasuries and gold," remarked Bell. "Since there isn't a lot of economic data set to be released next week, we'll most likely see the focus shift back to Europe."
Turning to today's major market stories...
For today's activity in commodities, options, and more, head to page 2.
Mid-Caps Nearing a Triple of March 2009 Lows
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