Dow Jones Industrial Average Swings in 288-Point Range as Oil Volatility Spreads

OPEC will not commit to curbing oil production

Dec 15, 2014 at 4:26 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) swung wildly today, amid ongoing woes in the energy sector. In fact, the 30-component index covered a nearly 290-point range during the session. Helping the Dow in early trading were signs of a rebound in crude oil, but the bears soon took over as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) refused to slow production. Looking ahead, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) will kick off its highly anticipated two-day policy-setting meeting tomorrow.

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

  • 2 possible explanations for selling VeriFone Systems Inc (NYSE:PAY) calls.
  • This pharmaceutical name benefited big-time from licensing its growth hormone treatment, leaving short sellers in a lurch.
  • Takeover talks sparked a colossal rally in shares of Talisman Energy Inc. (USA) (NYSE:TLM).
  • Plus ... Industrial output impresses, New York manufacturing disappoints, and the biggest private-equity deal of 2014.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 17,180.84) visited the north and south sides of breakeven, closing with a loss of nearly 100 points, or 0.6%. Twenty-five of the Dow's 30 components gave up ground, led by a 2.4% loss at McDonald's Corporation (NYSE:MCD). Of the five gainers, Boeing Co (NYSE:BA) fared best, adding 1.1%.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,989.63) also declined, shedding 12.7 points, or 0.6%. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,605.16) fared the worst, giving back 48.4 points, or 1%.

Even the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 20.42) settled with a loss. The market's "fear gauge" was up by as much as 17.8%, but closed 0.7 point, or 3.1%, lower.



5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. U.S. industrial production expanded by a better-than-expected 1.3% in November, posting its biggest month-over-month increase since May 2010. Meanwhile, capacity utilization hit its highest level since March 2008, increasing to 80.1% from 79.3% the month prior. (CNBC)
  2. The Empire State manufacturing index surprisingly contracted last month to a negative 3.58 reading, compared to 10.16 in November. This represents the survey's first monthly retreat since January 2013. (Reuters, via CNBC)
  3. The pet supplies retailer that's being taken private for $8.2 billion.
  4. These option bulls are banking on end-of-week upside for Orexigen Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:OREX).
  5. A closer look at how Russia's economy is faring.

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




Crude continued to tumble, as OPEC refused to curb production. Similarly, an official from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) -- a major OPEC member -- voiced opposition to conducting an emergency meeting to correct prices. By day's end, the January-dated contract was down $1.90, or 3.3%, to land at $55.91 per barrel -- crude's lowest settlement since May 2009.

Gold finished south of breakeven for the fourth day in a row, negatively impacted by the sell-off in oil. At the close, gold for February delivery was off $14.80, or 1.2%, at $1,207.70 per ounce.



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