Dow Jones Industrial Average Bounces Back; Crude Breaches Key Level

Crude closed south of the round-number $60 mark for the first time since July 2009

by Karee Venema

Published on Dec 11, 2014 at 4:23 PM
Updated on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:32 PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) snapped its three-session losing streak today, chipping away at its week-to-date deficit. A solid bout of retail sales data, as well as a steeper-than-expected drop in first-time jobless claims, had bulls bargain hunting in the wake of the recent broad-market pullback. Against this backdrop, the blue-chip barometer notched a modest win, while the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (COMP) staged similar rebounds. Oil futures, on the other hand, extended their journey to five-year lows, with black gold breaching psychological support.

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 17,596.34) was up more than 225 points at its session high, before paring these gains to a more modest 63.2 points, or 0.4%. Of the DJI's 30 components, 24 finished higher, led by a 1.4% pop for Walt Disney Co (NYSE:DIS). Boeing Co (NYSE:BA) paced the six decliners with its 1% loss.

Along similar lines the S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,035.33) and Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,708.16) were enjoying respective leads of 1.5% and 1.6% at their intraday peaks. By the close, though, the SPX was 9.2 points, or 0.5%, higher, while the COMP had added 24.1 points, or 0.5%.

After spending most of the day in the red, the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 20.08) staged a late-session rally, adding 1.6 points, or 8.4%, at the close. What's more, the market's "fear gauge" notched its loftiest daily settlement -- and first finish north of 20 -- since Oct. 17.

CLOSING SUMMARY – INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY – NYSE AND NASDAQ

5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. Retail sales rose the most in eight months in November, as lower fuel prices helped put extra cash in consumers' wallets. According to the Commerce Department, retail sales rose 0.7%, besting economists' estimate for a slimmer 0.4% rise. Elsewhere on the economic front, weekly jobless claims fell by a wider-than-expected margin, with the four-week moving average of claims staying south of the critical 300,000 mark for a 13th straight month. (Bloomberg)
  2. The House of Representatives delayed a vote on a $1.1 trillion spending bill that was initially slated for 2 p.m. ET today, on hopes Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) could garner more Republican support. Funding for the government runs out at midnight tonight. (Bloomberg)
  3. RadioShack Corporation (NYSE:RSH) can't catch a break, and this morning, the struggling retailer turned in its 11th consecutive quarterly loss. As such, the company announced a new round of cost-cutting measures, including layoffs and store closings. In today's trading, RSH bottomed out at an all-time low of $0.50. (Huffington Post)
  4. Wall Street weighed in on these 2 drug developers, sending the shares to new highs.
  5. Rumors of an increased stake from PepsiCo, Inc. (NYSE:PEP) had SodaStream International Ltd (NASDAQ:SODA) headed north, and option traders eyeing more gains.
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 continued its slide today, as oversupply concerns pushed black gold south of the round-number $60 marker for the first time since July 2009. By the close, January-dated oil fell 99 cents, or 1.6%, to end at $59.95 per barrel.

A rebound in the equities market, as well as encouraging economic data, dimmed gold's "safe haven" appeal. A strengthening greenback also contributed to the malleable metal's second straight day in the red, with February-dated gold shedding $3.80, or 0.3%, to land at $1,225.60 per ounce.


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