Crude Sell-Off Hits Dow Jones Industrial Average Once Again

President Obama will reportedly veto the Keystone XL bill

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Jan 6, 2015 at 4:18 PM
Updated on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:32 PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) was down by nearly 240 points at its intraday low, pressured by an ongoing sell-off in crude, and a pair of disappointing economic reports. Specifically, oil touched yet another five-year low, while data from the manufacturing and services sectors fell short of the Street's consensus estimates. By the close, the Dow had pared a significant portion of its losses, but still ended south of the flatline. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) retreated -- but settled north of support at the 2,000 millennium level -- and the CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX) extended its advance as fear prevailed.

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 17,371.64) briefly peeked above breakeven in early trading, but quickly sold off for another triple-digit loss. The blue-chip benchmark finished 130 points, or 0.7%, lower. Twenty-three of the Dow's 30 components retreated, paced by a 2.6% deficit at JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM). On the flip side, Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) led the seven advancers with a 3.9% spike.

Along similar lines, the S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,002.61) gave up 18 points, or 0.9%, but found a foothold just above the 2,000 millennium level, after dropping as low as 1,992.44 in intraday trading. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,592.74) suffered worse than its peers, shedding 59.8 points, or 1.3%, marking just its second finish south of 4,600 since late October.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 21.12) gained for a second straight day, tacking on 1.2 points, or 6%. This was the first time the market's "fear gauge" has settled atop 21 since mid-December.

CLOSING SUMMARY – INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY – NYSE AND NASDAQ

5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. President Barack Obama will veto the Keystone XL pipeline bill if it gets through Congress, according to White House press secretary Josh Earnest. The bill failed late last year on the floor of the Democrat-controlled Senate, but could get new life in 2015 with a Republican majority taking power. (CNN)
  2. The Institute for Supply Management's (ISM) non-manufacturing index fell to a worse-than-expected 56.2 in December. Nevertheless, this represents the 59th straight month that the services sector has grown -- as denoted by readings over 50. Elsewhere, factory orders slowed for a fourth consecutive month in November, and came in below estimates. (CNBC)
  3. Is PCLN destined for more downside?
  4. A closer look at DISH Network Corp's (NASDAQ:DISH) big reveal at the Consumer Electronics Show.
  5. Option bears circled this solar name amid a sector-wide slump.
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 crumbled for a fourth consecutive session, as oversupply fears weighed heavily on the minds of investors. The February-dated contract ended $2.11, or 4.2%, lower, at $47.93 per barrel -- its lowest settlement price since April 2009.

Gold posted a third straight daily win, as demand for safe-haven investments accelerated amid ongoing volatility in stocks, and as buying ramped up ahead of China's Lunar New Year. By the close, February-dated gold was up $15.40, or 1.3%, to settle at $1,219.40 per ounce.


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