Dow Jones Industrial Average Stymied by Black Friday, Cyber Monday Data

The NRF predicts fewer consumers will take advantage of Cyber Monday deals this year

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Dec 1, 2014 at 4:17 PM
Updated on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:32 PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) spent the entire session south of breakeven, as concerns about holiday shopping patterns weighed on stocks. However, the blue-chip index still finished well above its session low of 17,726.55, thanks to better-than-expected factory data. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (COMP) also ended in the red, with a number of momentum names -- including Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) -- experiencing a steep sell-off. On the flip side, crude and gold enjoyed a strong session on a number of fundamental developments.

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 17,776.80) dropped roughly 100 points out of the gate, but pared a portion of its losses by the close, retreating 51.4 points, or 0.3%. Not surprisingly, 23 of the blue-chip index's 30 components ended south of the flatline, led by a 1.8% loss at General Electric Company (NYSE:GE). Conversely, Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX) paced the seven advancing components with a 2.6% gain, partially recovering from Friday's 5.4% loss.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,053.44) gave back 14.1 points, or 0.7%, while the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,727.35) outstripped its peers with a 64.3-point, or 1.3%, retreat.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 14.29) popped 1.0 point, or 7.2%, for its loftiest daily close since Nov. 4.

CLOSING SUMMARY – INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY – NYSE AND NASDAQ

5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. The Institute for Supply Management's (ISM) manufacturing index for November retreated slightly from the prior month, but still exceeded expectations (subscription required). In a similar vein, despite exceeding the flash reading, the final reading of Markit's manufacturing survey for November hit a 10-month low, indicating "the pace of recovery eased to its weakest since the start of 2014." (The Wall Street Journal; Business Insider)
  2. On the heels of a report estimating Black Friday sales fell 11% year-over-year, the National Retail Federation (NRF) said it also anticipates fewer Cyber Monday shoppers in 2014. Specifically, the NRF projected 127 million consumers will go bargain hunting online today, compared to 131 million last year. (BBC News; USA Today)
  3. Precious metals producers rallied on overseas news, with these short-term call buyers forecasting additional gains for Barrick Gold Corporation (USA) (NYSE:ABX).
  4. Schaeffer's contributor Adam Warner explains why you should avoid the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (VXX), despite low, low prices.
  5. Bullish bettors keep flocking toward FireEye Inc (NASDAQ:FEYE), ignoring its its lackluster technicals.

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 posted its best single-day gain since August 2012, as permits issued for new shale wells plunged 15% in October. At the close, the January contract was up $2.85, or 4.3%, at $69 per barrel.

Gold futures closed above $1,200 for the first time since Oct. 29, helped by a downgrade of Japan's sovereign debt rating and a cooling dollar. The February-dated contract gained $42.60, or 3.6%, to settle at $1,218.10 per ounce.


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