It looked like another relatively ho-hum day for Wall Street, as stocks spent most of the morning cautiously higher. Bolstering equities were well-received reports on housing and consumer confidence, which helped the S&P 500 Index (SPX) to a fresh all-time high. However, the tide quickly turned in afternoon trading, as reports of escalating violence in Iraq overshadowed encouraging economic data, sending the major market indexes into the red. Against this backdrop, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) -- which came within 9 points of its own record peak -- surrendered triple digits on the day.
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 16,818.13) turned lower around midday, ultimately giving up 119.1 points, or 0.7%. Just four of the Dow's 30 components eked out a win, led by Intel Corporation's (NASDAQ:INTC) 0.9% gain. Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) fell in step with the energy sector, losing 1.6% to lead the blue-chip laggards.
The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,949.98) followed suit, shedding 12.6 points, or 0.6%, after tagging a fresh all-time peak of 1,968.17 in early action. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,350.36) notched a 14-year high of 4,399.87, but eventually followed its peers lower, giving up 18.3 points, or 0.4%.
The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 12.13) skyrocketed as equities turned tail, jumping 1.2 points, or 10.5%, to end north of 12 for the first time in a week.
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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