The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) backpedaled today, pressured by fresh financial turmoil out of Europe. After its parent company fell short on debt obligations, one of Portugal's biggest lenders took a dive in Lisbon -- shortly before trading was halted in shares of both companies. Here in the U.S., traders weighed a surprise drop in jobless claims against an afternoon speech from Kansas City Fed President Esther George, who said the central bank may start the process of raising interest rates as early as this year. Against this backdrop, the major equity indexes swallowed their steepest losses right out of the gate, but pared their declines in the second half of the session.
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 16,915.07) closed on a loss of 70.5 points, or 0.4%, as 22 of its 30 components declined. The Home Depot, Inc. (NYSE:HD) was the worst-performing blue chip, down 1.7%, while Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) led the six gainers with a 1.5% advance. Both The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) and Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) finished flat.
The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,964.68) dipped 8.2 points, or 0.4%, recovering from an intraday dip below its 20-day moving average. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,396.20) lost 22.8 points, or 0.5%, to finish just shy of the round 4,400 level.
The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 12.59) rallied, jumping 0.9 point, or 8.1%. So far this week, the "fear index" has popped 22% higher.
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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