Dow Jones Industrial Average Notches Second Day of Losses on Overseas Jitters

Crude oil and gold settled higher amid a weakening dollar

Dec 9, 2014 at 4:22 PM
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A sharp sell-off in global markets had traders scrambling to take profits off the table today, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) down nearly 223 points at its session low. By the end of the day, however, investors' fears had cooled, with the DJI shedding a slimmer 51 points, but notching its second consecutive day of losses. In similar fashion, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (COMP) were off more than 1% in intraday action, before settling the session down 0.02% and up 0.5%, respectively. Meanwhile, amid a lackluster day for mid- and large-caps, small-cap stocks stole the show. Specifically, the Russell 2000 Index (RUT) rallied 1.8%, to close at its loftiest level since Nov. 26.

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 17,801.20) was down 1.2% at its intraday low, before settling the session with a 51.3-point, or 0.3%, loss. Of the DJI's 30 components, 22 lost ground, paced by a 4.1% plunge for Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ). United Technologies Corporation (NYSE:UTX) led the eight advancers with its 1.7% pop.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,059.82) pared nearly all of its early losses to finish fractionally lower, while the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,766.47) was able to push above breakeven and tack on 25.8 points, or 0.5%.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 14.89) jumped as high as 16.68 -- its highest perch since Oct. 27 -- before closing up 0.7 point, or 4.8%. The market's "fear gauge" has rallied 26% this week.



5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. The Athens benchmark index surrendered 11.2% -- its largest drop since 1987 -- one day after Greece's Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said the country will hold a snap presidential election, with fear mounting the left-wing opposition party could come out ahead. Meanwhile, the announcement came as European Union (EU) officials on Monday agreed to give the country a two-month extension on its bailout. (USA Today)
  2. The Federal Reserve suggested two ways to calculate what capital surcharges the eight largest U.S. banks should pay -- in addition to those already levied by international regulators. While not offering up exact details, the central bank speculated the surcharges could hit a high end of 4.5%, and include regulations on short-term wholesale funding. (Bloomberg)
  3. To the delight of option traders, BLUE jumped more than 72% after unveiling upbeat trial results.
  4. Is sentiment shifting toward Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD)?
  5. A strong turn in the earnings confessional -- and subsequent bullish brokerage note -- sent this auto parts dealer into uncharted territory.

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




After hitting a fresh five-year low of $62.25 in intraday action, crude reversed course thanks to a weaker dollar, and in spite of a downwardly revised demand forecast from the Energy Information Administration (EIA). By the close, crude for January delivery was 77 cents, or 1.2%, higher at $63.82 per barrel.

The cooling greenback also helped buoy gold -- as did its "safe haven" status. At session's end, February-dated gold was up $37.10, or 3.1%, to $1,232 per ounce.



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