Dow Jones Industrial Average Retreats From Record High; Crude Falls to Two-Year Low

Crude surrenders its perch atop the round-number $80 mark

by Karee Venema

Published on Nov 3, 2014 at 4:27 PM
Updated on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:32 PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) got off to a strong start today -- tagging a fresh record peak of 17,410.65 in the early afternoon hours -- but was unable to extend this momentum through the close, as traders took a cautious stance ahead of tomorrow's midterm elections. Additionally, a hot-and-cold bag of economic data failed to inspire investors, and although the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (COMP) also touched notable milestones in early trading, both indexes closed the session not far from where they started it. Elsewhere, crude oil closed at its lowest level since June 2012, after Saudi Arabia unveiled a big reduction in its monthly export prices to the U.S.

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 17,366.24) traded in a roughly 71-point range today. Although the blue-chip barometer tagged a new intraday peak of 17,410.65 around midday, it reversed course to settle the session down 24.3 points, or 0.1%. Fourteen of the DJI's 30 components closed lower, led by Chevron Corporation's (NYSE:CVX) 2.6% decline. Merck & Co., Inc.'s (NYSE:MRK) 1.7% pop paced the 15 advancers, while AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) finished flat.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,017.81) tagged a new all-time high of 2,024.46 in early action, before finishing with a 0.2-point, or 0.01%, loss. In similar fashion, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,638.91) rallied to a fresh 14-year peak of 4,654.18, but pared its gains to 8.2 points, or 0.2%, at the close.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 14.73) tacked on 0.7 point, or 5%. The market's "fear gauge" rallied up to 14.99 in intraday action, but couldn't muster a move north of the 15 mark.

CLOSING SUMMARY – INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY – NYSE AND NASDAQ

5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. The Institute for Supply Management's (ISM) manufacturing index soared by a better-than-expected 59% in October, thanks to a solid rise in new orders. Elsewhere on the economic front, construction spending slowed for a second consecutive month in September, Chrysler's monthly auto sales easily outpaced those of its peers, and sales of new homes to first-time buyers skidded to a 27-year low. (MarketWatch; ABC News; USA Today)
  2. The U.S. dollar gained ground against the Japanese yen today -- climbing to levels not seen since early 2007. The yen also lost ground against other global currencies, including the British pound and the euro. (MarketWatch)
  3. YELP rallied after Barclays increased its profit and sales estimates for the online review firm's 2015 and 2016 fiscal years, but option traders think there's room to run.
  4. Monness Crespi Hardt showed a preference for this social networking stock over two of its fellow Internet issues.
  5. Broadcom Corporation (NASDAQ:BRCM) option traders gambled on a move to three-year-high territory by year's end.
EARNINGS

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

STOCKS – NOTABLE CALL ACTIVITY

STOCKS – NOTABLE PUT ACTIVITY

Commodities:

Crude oil reversed course throughout the session, after a shift in Saudi Arabia's export prices. By the close, the December-dated contract was down $1.76, or 2.2%, at $78.78 per barrel -- its lowest finish since June 2012.

A strengthening dollar continued to pressure gold prices today, with gold for December delivery surrendering $1.80, or 0.2%, to close at $1,169.80 per ounce.


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