Dow Jones Industrial Average Erases Triple-Digit Lead as Crude Strikes Again

Crude oil continued to pan five-year lows

by Karee Venema

Published on Jan 13, 2015 at 4:20 PM
Updated on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:32 PM

It was whipsaw day on Wall Street, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) enjoying a more than 200-point lead at lunchtime, only to explore triple-digit losses before ultimately settling moderately lower. The day's upside was initially sparked by a better-than-expected earnings report from Alcoa Inc. (NYSE:AA), however, crude oil's continued sell-off was too much for investors to bear. This up-and-down action was witnessed elsewhere on the Street, with both the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (COMP) surrendering early leads to settle with modest losses.

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 17,613.68) traded in a 425-point range today, eventually settling with a loss of 27.2 points, or 0.2%. Of the DJI's 30 components, 18 finished lower, led by DuPont's (NYSE:DD) 1.7% drop. Walt Disney Co's (NYSE:DIS) 0.8% pop paced the 11 advancers, while AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) was unchanged.

It was a similar set-up for the S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,023.03), which was up nearly 29 points at its session high, only to close down 5.2 points, or 0.3%. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,661.50), meanwhile, finished 3.2 points, or 0.1%, lower.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 20.56) tacked on 1 point, or 4.9%, to notch its second daily close north of the round-number 20 mark this year.

CLOSING SUMMARY – INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY – NYSE AND NASDAQ

5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. The December budget surplus shrank by a wider-than-expected margin, according to the Treasury Department, due to a number of January payments that were logged last month. Elsewhere on the economic front, job openings jumped to their highest level since early 2001 in November, and small business optimism rose to an eight-year high in December. (Bloomberg; Reuters)
  2. Speaking at an event in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates' (UAE) oil minister defended the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries' (OPEC) position to keep oil output unchanged, explaining the decision should be made based on the rate of oil supply growth, not the price of crude. (MarketWatch)
  3. Ocwen Financial Corp (NYSE:OCN) plunged to a fresh five-year low on news that California regulators are hoping to suspend the company's mortgage license -- but option traders think there's more downside ahead.
  4. One option bull put up nearly $2 million to bet on a big bounce for First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR).
  5. Upbeat comments from Dunkin Brands Group Inc's (NASDAQ:DNKN) CEO sent the shares higher, and bullish traders scrambling to the stock's options pits.
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 rout, as words from UAE's oil minister overshadowed the Energy Information Administration's (EIA) upwardly revised 2015 global oil demand forecast. By the close, crude for February delivery was down 18 cents, or 0.4%, at $45.89 per barrel -- its lowest settlement since April 2009.

Gold edged higher, helped by a weaker dollar and oil's extended slump. At session's end, February-dated gold was up $1.60, or 0.1%, at $1,234.40 per ounce.


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