Fed Fears, Dollar Smack Dow Jones Industrial Average

Crude inventories rose by more than expected last week

by Karee Venema

Published on Mar 11, 2015 at 4:18 PM
Updated on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:32 PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) spent time on both sides of breakeven today, as traders continued to monitor a soaring greenback -- and express concern over an impending interest-rate hike. Some clarity on the latter could come as early as next week, when the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) holds its two-day policy-setting meeting. After trading in a roughly 100-point range, the blue-chip barometer couldn't hold above breakeven, and notched its second consecutive daily loss. In tomorrow's session, retailers will be in the limelight, with monthly sales data slated for release.

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 17,635.39) was seen on both sides of breakeven today, eventually settling with a loss of 27.6 points, or 0.2%. Of the Dow's 30 components, 18 closed lower, led by a 1.5% drop for The Coca-Cola Co (NYSE:KO). INTC paced the 12 advancers with its 2% gain.

Likewise, the S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,040.24) explored both positive and negative territory in intraday action, before closing at a 3.9-point, or 0.2%, loss. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,849.94), meanwhile, gave back 9.9 points, or 0.2%.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 16.87) added 0.2 point, or 1.1%, but ran into resistance at its 50-day moving average.

CLOSING SUMMARY – INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY – NYSE AND NASDAQ

5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. Roughly two weeks after Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (NYSE:VRX) finalized a $10.1 billion deal to purchase Salix Pharmaceuticals, Ltd. (NASDAQ:SLXP), Endo International plc (NASDAQ:ENDP) raised the stakes. Specifically, ENDP offered up a roughly $11 billion cash-and-stock bid for SLXP. (Reuters)
  2. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) passed through a $17.5 billion aid package for Ukraine today, with $5 billion immediately available to the war-torn nation. The four-year loan package replaces a previous two-year loan agreement, and "will provide more funding, more time, more flexibility, and better financing terms for Ukraine," said IMF chief Christine Lagarde in a statement. (Bloomberg)
  3. Breaking down the six-figure bearish bet on GM.
  4. The medical device maker assailing new heights after an earnings beat.
  5. How option traders reacted to new investments for Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA) and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL).
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 headed south thanks to a rising dollar, and a stronger-than-forecast rise in weekly inventories. By the close, crude for April delivery was down 12 cents, or 0.3%, at $48.17 per barrel -- its lowest settlement since Feb. 26.

Gold closed lower for a second straight session, amid a strengthening greenback and speculation of higher interest rates. At session's end, April-dated gold was off $9.50, or 0.8%, at $1,150.60 per ounce -- its lowest close since Nov. 6.


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