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Dow Jones Industrial Average Hit by Iraq, Ukraine Fears

Heightening conflicts in Iraq and Ukraine erased early gains for the DJI

by 8/7/2014 4:20:57 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:

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.

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

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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.

CLOSING SUMMARY  INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY  NYSE AND NASDAQ

5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. Alexander Borodai resigned his post as prime minister of the Donetsk People's Republic, as Ukrainian forces continued to advance on the rebel stronghold. "I think that the worst is over," declared Borodai at a press conference announcing the change in leadership. As the violent conflict intensifies between separatists and the Ukrainian military, residents have been fleeing Donetsk en masse. (AFP via Yahoo! News; Fox News)
  2. The U.S. is said to be considering airstrikes in northern Iraq, after the Sunni militant group ISIS captured the Mosul dam -- a key water supply for the region. With religious minorities under attack by ISIS, humanitarian air drops are also reportedly under consideration. (NPR)
  3. Initial jobless claims dropped by 14,000 last week to arrive at a lower-than-expected 289,000, according to the Labor Department. The four-week moving average of first-time unemployment claims backpedaled to 293,500 -- a new eight-year low. (MarketWatch)
  4. Ctrip.com International, Ltd. (ADR) (NASDAQ:CTRP) hit a new record high after landing a new, high-profile backer. On the other hand, Coupons.Com Inc (NYSE:COUP) tumbled to an all-time low on the heels of its latest earnings report.
  5. Put players set their sights on tech stocks QUALCOMM, Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM) and NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA).
EARNINGS

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

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