The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) spent most of the session modestly south of breakeven, save a brief period of post-Yellen upside. In a prepared speech at the central bank's annual symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, the Fed head said that a quicker-than-expected recovery could result in a sooner-than-anticipated rate hike, but noted that the Fed's internal gauges suggest the unemployment rate overstates progress. It was the news outside of the U.S., however, that had the biggest impact on Wall Street, after NATO pointed to "an alarming build-up" of Russian forces near the Ukraine border. By the close, the Dow gave up 38 points, but maintained its perch atop 17,000.
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 17,001.22) surrendered 38.3 points, or 0.2%, but eked out a second straight finish atop 17,000. Just nine of the Dow's 30 components ended higher, led by Merck & Co., Inc.'s (NYSE:MRK) 0.5% advance. Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) and General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) paced the declining majority with roughly 1% drops. For the week, the Dow added 2%.
The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,988.40) pulled back from record highs, shedding 4 points, or 0.2%. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,538.55) fared the best of its peers, tacking on 6.5 points, or 0.1%, and extending its string of new 14-year highs, topping out at 4,547.24. For the week, the SPX gained 1.7%, while the COMP added 1.6%.
The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 11.47) spent most of the session north of breakeven, but turned lower in afternoon action, giving up 0.3 point, or 2.5%, to finish at a session low. For the week, the "fear gauge" swallowed a 12.8% loss.
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The Case for Big Moves in IWM and QQQ
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