"The markets were weak again today, due to lackluster price action overseas and worse-than-expected earnings from Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) and Kohl's Corporation (NYSE:KSS)," said Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell, CMT. "This also comes as the S&P 500 Index (SPX) faces overhead resistance from its former all-time high, and the Russell 2000 Index (RUT) struggles to maintain support from its previous 2014 low." Against this backdrop, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) logged its second straight triple-digit drop, erasing its month-to-date gain.
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 16,446.81) was flirting with a triple-digit deficit within the first hour of trading -- down as much as 216.5 points at its session nadir -- but settled with a loss of 167.2 points, or 1%. Just Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) and AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) escaped the wrath, advancing 6% and 0.4%, respectively. WMT led the declining majority, shedding 2.4% after a poorly received earnings report.
The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,870.85) also plunged out of the gate, giving up 17.7 points, or 0.9%, by the bell. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,069.29) was down almost 65 points at its intraday low, but pared its loss to 31.3 points, or 0.8%, by the close.
The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 13.17) shot higher at the opening bell, but trimmed its lead to 1 point, or 8.2%, by the time the dust settled. The market's "fear gauge" finished north of its 10-day moving average for only the second time in a month.
A Trader's Take:
"Bonds continue to be the big winners in this volatile market," continued Bell, as yields on the 10-year Treasury note breached the psychologically significant 2.5% level in intraday trading. "With everyone assuming rates were just going to skyrocket, the opposite has happened over the past several months."
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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