Worst Week in 3 Years for Dow; VIX Posts 78% Weekly Win

Crude oil settled at its lowest level since May 2009

Dec 12, 2014 at 4:21 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) extended its recent rout today, as crude's continued slide sparked another risk-off session. Specifically, the DJI shed 315 points, or 1.8% -- bringing its week-to-date deficit to 3.8% -- after the International Energy Agency (IEA) cut its 2015 forecast for global oil demand growth. Not only did the 30-stock index shatter its weekly win streak, but it posted its biggest weekly percentage drop since November 2011. The sell-off wasn't restricted to blue chips, though, with the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (COMP) surrendering 1.6% and 1.2%, respectively. Amid this retreat in equities, the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), also known as the market's "fear gauge," soared more than 78% week-over-week.

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 17,280.83) spent the entire session in the red, eventually settling with a 315.5-point, or 1.8% loss -- its lowest settlement since Oct. 30. All 30 of the DJI's components closed in the red, led by International Business Machines Corp.'s (NYSE:IBM) 3.5% drop. For the week, the DJI lost 3.8% -- its loftiest weekly percentage drop since November 2011.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,002.33) gave back 33 points, or 1.6%, but found a firm foothold at the 2,000 mark. Along similar lines, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,653.60) shed 54.6 points, or 1.2%, but saw support emerge at 4,650. On a weekly basis, the SPX and COMP lost a respective 3.5% and 2.7%.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 21.08) added 1 point, or 5%, to close above 21 for the first time since Oct. 17. Week-over-week, the market's "fear barometer" surged 78.3%.

CLOSING SUMMARY – INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY – NYSE AND NASDAQ

5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. Consumer confidence hit a nearly eight-year high in November, according to a preliminary reading of Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's index. Specifically, the consumer sentiment gauge jumped to 93.8 -- its highest level since January 2007 -- easily besting the consensus estimate of 89.5. Elsewhere on the economic front, the Labor Department said producer prices fell by a wider-than-expected 0.2% last month, driven by the recent sell-off in gasoline prices. Excluding food, energy, and trade data, the core producer price index was unchanged. (CNBC)
  2. Following in the recent footsteps of Richard Fisher and Charles Plosser, Minneapolis Fed President Narayana Kocherlakota will be stepping down from the post in 2016. Kocherlakota -- a voting member and notorious dove -- said his decision to not seek reappointment follows signs of a stabilizing economy. His term will conclude on Feb. 29, 2016. MarketWatch)
  3. The head of Tesla Motors Inc's (NASDAQ:TSLA) China operations announced her resignation after less than nine months on the job. The stock closed lower on the news, bringing its week-to-date loss to 7.4%.
  4. Transocean LTD (NYSE:RIG) slumped to a new 19-year low, but eleventh-hour option traders kept the faith.
  5. The oil-and-gas concern that rallied on rumors of a potential suitor.
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 fell to its lowest level since 2009 today, amid continued supply and demand concerns. By the close, crude for January delivery was down $2.14, or 3.6%, at $57.81 per barrel. For the week, black gold gave back 12.2%.

Gold settled in the red for a third consecutive day, following a strong reading on consumer sentiment. By session's end, February-dated gold was off $3.10, or 0.3%, at $1,222.50 per ounce. On a weekly basis, however, the malleable metal jumped 2.7%.


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