"There seems to be a real trend toward reducing risk in the market right now, as more and more uncertainty surrounds the Ukraine situation and China's economic growth outlook," noted Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell, CMT. "In a natural rotation, we are seeing investors trade out of U.S. equities while cash flow moves into gold and bonds." The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) moved higher out of the gate, but was quick to tumble into negative territory, closing with a triple-digit loss and all of its components in the red. It marked the fourth consecutive decline for the blue-chip index.
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 16,108.89) started the session above breakeven, but spiraled lower as the day wore on, closing with a substantial loss of 231 points, or 1.4%. All of the Dow's 30 members moved lower on the day, though The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG) and AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) were least affected, each shedding less than 0.1%. Bringing up the rear was Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE), down 2.7%.
The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,846.34) breached the significant 1,850 mark, closing off 21.9 points, or 1.2%. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,260.42) was sharply lower on the day as well, down 62.9 points, or 1.5%.
The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 16.22) spiked amid the sell-off, adding 12.1%, or 1.8 points. The "fear barometer" had not traded north of 16 since March 3.
A Trader's Take:
"Despite today's poor price action, the U.S. markets actually received a pretty good retail sales number and jobless claims report this morning," added Bell. "Both perhaps support the theory that the winter weather was actually to blame for economic weakness in recent months. But despite the upbeat reports, the global concerns have been dominating the spotlight in recent days."
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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