Dow Jones Industrial Average Crumbles With Crude; Fed Fails to Inspire

Domestic stockpiles hit their loftiest level on record

Jan 28, 2015 at 4:25 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) shot higher out of the gate, with help from a well-received earnings report from blue-chip component Boeing Co (NYSE:BA). However, these upbeat quarterly results couldn't save the DJI from a steep supply-related sell-off in crude -- or another call to be "patient" from the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) -- and by the close, the 30-stock index was staring at its second consecutive triple-digit loss. It was a similar set-up elsewhere on the Street, as well, with the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) surrendering early gains, and the S&P 500 Index (SPX) testing support atop the highly watched 2,000 mark.

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 17,191.37) traded in a nearly 300-point range today, before eventually closing down 195.8 points, or 1.1% -- near its session low. Twenty-seven of the Dow's 30 components finished in the red, led by Chevron Corporation's (NYSE:CVX) 4.2% plunge. BA paced the three advancers with its 5.4% pop.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,002.16) was up nearly 13 points at its intraday high, before settling with a 27.4-point, or 1.4%, loss. Meanwhile, a big earnings beat for AAPL couldn't help the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,637.99) from giving back 43.5 points, or 0.9%.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 20.44) jumped 3.2 points, or 18.7%, to settle above the round-number 20 mark for the first time since Jan. 16.



5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) wrapped up its first two-day policy setting meeting of the year today, pledging to be "patient" in regard to interest-rate hikes, as inflation levels continue to churn below the Fed's 2% target. However, in a released statement, the central bank said, "Economic activity has been expanding at a solid pace ... Labor market conditions have improved further, with strong job gains and a lower unemployment rate." All 10 members voted in favor of today's policy statement -- the first time a unanimous vote has been cast since June. (Bloomberg)
  2. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) said domestic crude inventories soared by nearly 9 million barrels last week to 407 million -- the highest level on record. The consensus forecast was for a more modest rise of 4 million barrels. The news -- as well as a dreary outlook on oil from Goldman Sachs -- sent liquid gold tumbling to a nearly six-year low. (Reuters)
  3. Merger-and-acquisition-related rumors hit the Street in force today, impacting the price action -- and options activity -- of Advent Software, Inc. (NASDAQ:ADVS), Lifelock Inc (NYSE:LOCK), and Sunedison Inc (NYSE:SUNE) to name a few.
  4. Wall Street was quick to weigh in on Freeport-McMoRan Inc (NYSE:FCX) following its dismal turn in the earnings confessional.
  5. How one Under Armour Inc (NYSE:UA) trader got crafty with his long put spread.

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




Crude oil plunged today, following the FOMC's promise to be patient on raising interest rates, as well as an unexpected surge in domestic stockpiles and the aforementioned bearish note from Goldman Sachs. By the close, crude for March delivery was down $1.78, or 3.9%, to $44.45 per barrel -- its lowest settlement since March 2009.

Gold lost ground this afternoon, following the FOMC's dovish policy statement. At session's end, February-dated gold was down $5.80, or 0.4%, to close at $1,285.90 per ounce.



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