Greece, China Tag-Team Dow Jones Industrial Average

Greek bailout drama, Chinese data, and OPEC dominated headlines

Feb 9, 2015 at 4:20 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) dropped out of the gate, and the bearish stars aligned to pressure stocks lower through the close. Moves by Alexis Tsipras, Greece's freshly minted prime minister, exacerbated fears of the country's exit from the eurozone, prompting traders to hold their proverbial breath ahead of Wednesday's emergency meeting of finance ministers. Elsewhere, lackluster data out of China overshadowed a third straight uptick for crude, fueled by favorable supply-and-demand expectations from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). Against this backdrop, the Dow spent the session swimming in red ink, and the S&P 500 Index (SPX) backpedaled below a familiar technical threshold.

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 17,729.21) was down nearly 139 points at its intraday low, but settled on a deficit of 95.1 points, or 0.5%. Only four blue chips managed to avoid sellers' wrath, led by Caterpillar Inc.'s (NYSE:CAT) 1.8% gain. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) paced the bearish majority, surrendering 1.6%.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,046.74) suffered a similar fate, dropping 8.7 points, or 0.4%. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,726.01) also gave up 0.4%, or 18.4 points.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 18.55) tacked on 1.3 points, or 7.3%. However, the market's "fear gauge" ran into a roadblock in the form of its 20-day moving average, which has stifled upside momentum over the past week.

CLOSING SUMMARY – INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY – NYSE AND NASDAQ

5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. Equities around the globe took a hit after China released disappointing trade numbers on Sunday. Compared to the previous year, the country's exports dropped 3.3% in January, with imports falling nearly 20% -- resulting in a record $60 billion trade surplus. (Reuters)
  2. The drama in Greece continued, as the indebted country's new government continued to push back against its creditors. New Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras put forth measures he claims are "necessary to alleviate the 'humanitarian crisis' in Greece." Tsipras' plan will be put to a confidence vote in parliament tomorrow. (Bloomberg)
  3. Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc.'s (NYSE:CMG) recent run of bad luck continued over the weekend and into today.
  4. GoPro Inc (NASDAQ:GPRO) fell further on the charts, prompting one trader to place a bearishly biased straddle.
  5. One man's Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX) problem.
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 was higher for a third straight day, thanks to OPEC's downwardly revised supply forecast. By the close, March-dated oil added $1.17, or 2.3%, to finish at $52.86 a barrel.

Gold was also higher today, breaking a two-day losing streak, as political and economic concerns bolstered the metal's "safe haven" appeal. April-dated gold added $6.90, or 0.6%, to settle at $1,241.50 per ounce.


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