Dow Jones Industrial Average Plunges 100 Points; Small-Caps Get Smoked

Crude oil fell for a fourth straight session, while gold bounced back

by 9/22/2014 4:21:37 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:

Uninspiring remarks from China's finance minister -- as well as a dreary reading on existing home sales -- pressured the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) to a triple-digit loss. However, despite the blue-chip barometer shedding roughly 0.6%, it was small-caps that took the worst hit today -- with the Russell 2000 Index (RUT) plunging nearly 1.5%. Elsewhere, the broader S&P 500 Index (SPX) surrendered its perch atop the highly watched 2,000 mark, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite (COMP) gave back more than 1%.

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

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 17,172.68) spent the entire session in the red, and was down more than 120 points at its intraday low. By the close, though, the DJI had pared these losses to 107.1 points, or 0.6%. Twenty-five of the index's 30 components finished in the red, led by United Technologies Corporation's (NYSE:UTX) 1.8% drop. E I Du Pont De Nemours And Co (NYSE:DD), The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO), and The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG) paced the five advancers, each logging a 0.4% gain.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,994.29) bottomed out at 1,991.01, before settling the session with a loss of 16.1 points, or 0.8% -- its worst daily percentage drop since Aug. 5. Elsewhere, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,527.69) surrendered 52.1 points, or 1.1%.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 13.69) tacked on 1.6 points, or 13.1%, and finished north of its 50-day moving average for the first time since last Monday.

CLOSING SUMMARY  INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY  NYSE AND NASDAQ

5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. Existing home sales unexpectedly fell for the first time in four months in August, dropping 1.8% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.05 million -- although still marking the second-highest sales pace of 2014. Year-over-year, sales declined 5.3%. (Reuters)
  2. On the central bank circuit, China's Finance Minister Lou Jiwei put the kibosh on the potential for major changes to economic policy, New York Fed President William Dudley said the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) must be patient in regard to a potential interest-rate hike, and Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser -- a prominent hawk and voting FOMC member -- announced he will retire in March. (Bloomberg Businessweek; Los Angeles Times)
  3. General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) shares were pressured lower, after the company unveiled yet another round of recalls.
  4. The Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) approval of this pharmaceutical concern's Ebola treatment in emergency situations sent the shares soaring nearly 17%.
  5. Wall Street continued to weigh in on AK Steel Holding Corporation (NYSE:AKS) and United States Steel Corporation (NYSE:X), with one option trader setting a $3.5 million floor on the latter.
EARNINGS

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

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