COMP Takes Aim at 5K; Dow Jones Industrial Average Retreats

Crude oil plunged 5.5% -- and moved back below $50 -- amid supply concerns

Feb 26, 2015 at 4:21 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) retreated from record-high territory, amid a sharp drop in oil. In fact, two of the biggest laggards on the blue-chip barometer today were energy issues Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX) and Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM), which surrendered 1.4% and 1%, respectively. A mixed bag of economic data did little to boost investor sentiment, with the S&P 500 Index (SPX) heading south for a second straight day. However, not all was lost on the Street, with the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) coming within a chip-shot of taking out the highly watched 5,000 mark -- with help from component Avago Technologies Ltd (NASDAQ:AVGO) -- before settling just shy of its fresh 14-year high.

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

Outside of a brief stint north of breakeven near midday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 18,214.42) spent almost the entire session in the red, eventually settling with a 10.2-point, or 0.1%, loss. Of the Dow's 30 components, 13 closed lower, led by a 1.6% drop for Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT). McDonald's Corporation (NYSE:MCD) paced the 17 advancers with its 1.7% gain.

It was a similar set-up for the S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,110.74), which edged higher shortly before lunchtime, only to close down 3.1 points, or 0.2%. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,987.89), meanwhile, outpaced its peers, settling up 20.8 points, or 0.4%, but not before notching a fresh 14-year peak of 4,989.11.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 13.91) added 0.1 point, or 0.5%, but closed south of its 200-day moving average for a fifth straight day.

CLOSING SUMMARY – INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY – NYSE AND NASDAQ

5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. With many eyes watching, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved net neutrality rules by a vote of 3-to-2. The historic measure will now classify the Internet as a utility, and allow broader regulation from the FCC. In response, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said, "The landmark open-Internet protections that we adopted today should reassure consumers, innovators and financial markets about the broadband future of our nation." (Bloomberg)
  2. The consumer price index notched its first year-over-year decline since 2009 in January -- calling into question whether this inflation data could cause the Federal Reserve to tap the brakes on a potential interest-rate hike. Elsewhere on the economic front, durable goods orders rose by more than expected, while weekly jobless claims jumped to their highest level in seven weeks. (Reuters; Bloomberg; MarketWatch)
  3. 3 notable names preparing to tell all in the earnings confessional.
  4. A $4 billion commitment from this blue chip had option bulls jumping on.
  5. Shares of this drugmaker jumped nearly 57% today after the company cleared a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hurdle.
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 resumed its recent downtrend today, as supply concerns -- and the U.S. dollar -- ramped up. By the close, April-dated crude was down $2.82, or 5.5%, at $48.17 per barrel -- its lowest settlement in a month.

Despite a surging dollar, gold notched a second consecutive win as Chinese buyers threw their proverbial hats back in the ring. At session's end, gold for April delivery was up $8.60, or 0.7%, at $1,210.10 per ounce.

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