Investors weren't sure where to focus their attention today, given geopolitical concerns, mixed earnings reports, and economic data at home and abroad. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) started the day solidly lower, pressured by lackluster earnings from Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) and worse-than-expected manufacturing data from China. News of expansion in the services sector turned things around, however, and the blue-chip index managed to pare a triple-digit loss by midday before closing with a modest gain.
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 16,530.55) dipped to an intraday low of 16,377.09 early on before solidly overcoming the breakeven level in mid-afternoon trading. By the closing bell, the index had added 17.7 points, or 0.1%. The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) led the Dow's 16 advancers, gaining 1.6%, while Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) shed 2.6% to bring up the rear.
The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,884.66) faced a similar intraday swing but finished near its highs of the day, up 3.5 points, or 0.2%. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,138.06), meanwhile, closed with a gain of 14.2 points, or 0.3%, after also spending some time in the red.
The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 13.29) popped north of the 13 level and snapped its five-day losing streak. By the closing bell, the market's "fear gauge" had added 0.4 point, or 2.9%.
5 Items on Our Radar Today:
For a look at today's options movers and commodities activity, head to page 2.
The Case for Big Moves in IWM and QQQ
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