Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 Fail to Hit Highs; Forex News Weighs On Financials

Wholesale inventories topped expectations in September

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Nov 12, 2014 at 4:25 PM
Updated on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:32 PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) and S&P 500 Index (SPX) snapped their streaks of consecutive record closing highs at five, as both finished with slight losses. What's more, neither was able to hit an all-time intraday peak, either -- unlike the Nasdaq Composite (COMP), which topped out at a 14-plus-year acme of 4,678.58 and ended slightly in the green. Nevertheless, the session was quiet overall, with just one economic report hitting the Street -- specifically, wholesale inventories, which topped expectations by a smidge. In other news, a number of financial stocks at home and abroad sold off on a foreign-exchange manipulation settlement.

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 17,612.20) failed to reach an all-time intraday or closing high, finishing 2.7 points lower. Seventeen of the Dow's 30 components ended north of breakeven, led by a 1.1% gain at Visa Inc (NYSE:V). The remaining 13 blue chips settled in the red, paced by a 1.3% loss at JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM).

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,038.25) also was unable to hit intraday or closing highs, and finished 1.4 points south of breakeven. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,675.13) performed better than its peers, adding 14.6 points, or 0.3%, and peaking at 4,678.58 -- its highest level since March 2000.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 13.02) finally muscled back above the 13 level, adding 0.1 point, or 0.8%.



5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. Wholesale inventories increased slightly more than expected in September, the Commerce Department reported. Likewise, September sales at wholesalers topped economists' expectations by a slim margin, following a sizable drop the month prior. (Reuters, via CNBC)
  2. Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser, a widely regarded hawk, expressed concern over the nation's low interest rates, even after accounting for falling energy prices and slow wage growth. "There is no precedented history to have rates at zero," Plosser explained. "I think we are really behaving in a way which is outside of historical norms and that should make us nervous." (CNBC)
  3. Pre-earnings call buyers set their sights on J C Penney Company Inc (NYSE:JCP).
  4. A look at one financial stock that got hit amid forex-manipulation fines and a downgrade on Wall Street.
  5. Option bulls continued to target QUALCOMM, Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM), one week ahead of the company's analyst day.

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




Crude ended at its lowest level in more than three years today, as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries' (OPEC) monthly report failed to ease oversupply fears. At session's end, December crude was down 76 cents, or 1%, at $77.18 per barrel.

Gold futures pared their early gains due to a strong dollar. By the close, the December-dated contract had given back $3.90, or 0.3%, to settle at $1,159.10 per ounce.

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