Stocks started the day on positive footing, but escalating geopolitical tensions pressured the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) into the red by midday. Traders kept a wary eye trained on the uneasy situation along Ukraine's border with Russia, while new reports indicated the U.S. is considering possible airstrikes in Iraq in response to new aggressions by ISIS. On the domestic front, a stronger-than-forecast employment report pointed to a healthier jobs market, but simultaneously raised the prospect of an imminent Fed rate hike.
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 16,368.27) was down more than 109 points at its session low, but pared its losses to end on a drop of 75.1 points, or 0.5%. Only six Dow components closed higher, led by a 1.3% rebound for The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA). UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE:UNH) paced the 24 declining blue chips with a 2.8% fall.
The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,909.57) followed suit with a loss of 10.7 points, or 0.6%. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,334.97) gave up 20.1 points, or 0.5%.
The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 16.66) jumped 0.3 point, or 1.8%, but continued its recent trend of peaking in the 17-17.50 area. This region has capped VIX's progress since July 31.
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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