Dow Jones Industrial Average Drops Triple Digits on Ominous ADP Report

The Fed's Beige Book revealed expansion in 11 of 12 districts

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Mar 4, 2015 at 4:18 PM
Updated on Jun 24, 2020 at 10:16 AM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) suffered yet another sizable loss, as traders digested the latest round of economic reports. Data was largely mixed, highlighted by a cautiously optimistic Beige Book and an underwhelming ADP employment report -- which is generally considered a precursor to Friday's nonfarm payrolls report from the Labor Department. Meanwhile, Chicago Fed President Charles Evans made headlines, calling on the central bank to delay interest rate hikes until 2016 due to low inflation.

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 18,096.90) dropped 106.5 points, or 0.6% -- and breached the 18,100 century level for the first time since Feb. 19 -- to register its second straight loss. Six of the blue-chip index's 30 components finished higher, paced by UnitedHealth Group Inc.'s (NYSE:UNH) 1% win. American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) and Visa Inc (NYSE:V) led the 23 losers, surrendering 1.6% apiece. Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX) was flat.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,098.53) fell below the 2,100 mark, giving back 9.3 points, or 0.4%. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,967.14) ended 12.8 points, or 0.3%, lower.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 14.23) snapped its streak of sub-14 finishes, tacking on 0.4 point, or 2.7%.

CLOSING SUMMARY – INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY – NYSE AND NASDAQ

5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. It was a busy data on the economic front. Private employers added 212,000 jobs last month, ADP reported, falling short of expectations. However, the Institute for Supply Management's services index expanded by a wider-than-projected margin in February, helped by higher employment rates and cheaper gas. (Reuters; Bloomberg)
  2. The Fed's Beige book revealed economic expansion in 11 of 12 districts in early 2015, despite daunting levels of precipitation. Generally speaking, the districts saw encouraging levels of consumer spending and manufacturing, while slowdowns within energy services and construction were causes for concern. (USA Today)
  3. Despite hitting a two-year low, Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK) was mobbed by call buyers.
  4. Option bears continued to jump on FireEye Inc (NASDAQ:FEYE), unfazed by its long-term technical strength.
  5. This group of traders boarded Sunedison Inc's (NYSE:SUNE) bullish bandwagon.
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:

After initially ticking lower on reports of an inventory spike, crude sustained its momentum, following an encouraging Beige Book and developments in Saudi Arabia. Specifically, the country reportedly upped its sticker prices for Arab Light crude, while the nation's oil minister said demand is "gradually rising" and prices are "stabilizing." This news offset the largest build since 2001 in U.S. stockpiles, boosting the April-dated contract $1.01, or 2%, to settle at $51.53 per barrel.

Gold gave up ground for a third straight day, as the session's spate of economic reports failed to spook investors and the dollar reached an 11-year high against the euro. Gold for April delivery slipped $3.50, or 0.3%, to close at $1,200.90 per ounce.


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