Oil, Dollar Spook Bulls; Dow Jones Industrial Average Plunges

Crude oil surrendered nearly 10% on the week

by Karee Venema

Published on Mar 13, 2015 at 4:26 PM
Updated on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:32 PM

After enjoying a brief respite north of its 2015 breakeven mark, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) took a turn for the worse -- succumbing to a triple-digit loss, and moving back into the red on a year-to-date basis. What's more, the blue-chip barometer notched its third straight weekly loss. Sparking the day's risk-off attitude was a renewed rally in the dollar, a steep sell-off in oil, and a round of uninspiring economic reports -- which hit the Street just ahead of next week's Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) policy-setting meeting. Elsewhere, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) couldn't sustain its historical Friday the 13th trend, while the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) fell in step with its peers.

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

Outside of a brief tick higher at the open, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 17,749.31) spent the entire session below breakeven. At its intraday low, the blue-chip barometer was off 265.3 points, before paring these losses to 145.9 points, or 0.8%. Twenty-one of the Dow's 30 components headed south, with International Business Machines Corp.'s (NYSE:IBM) 2.3% loss leading the way. Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) partially recovered from yesterday's slide to pace the seven advancers with its 0.9% gain, while Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) were unchanged. For the week, the DJI surrendered 0.6%.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,053.40) gave back 12.6 points, or 0.6%, while the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,871.76) shed 21.5 points, or 0.4%. Week-over-week, the SPX and COMP lost 0.9% and 1.1%, respectively.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 16.00) added 0.6 point, or 3.8%. On a weekly basis, the market's "fear gauge" tacked on 5.3%.

CLOSING SUMMARY – INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY – NYSE AND NASDAQ

5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. Inflation remained muted in February, with the producer price index (PPI) dropping 0.5% -- its fourth straight monthly decline -- versus an expected rise of 0.3%. Elsewhere, consumers in the low- to middle-income range soured on the U.S economy in March, while sentiment among those in the higher-income bracket rose. Specifically, the preliminary Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index fell to 91.2 from its February reading of 95.4 -- and arrived below the consensus estimate of 95.5. (Bloomberg; Reuters)
  2. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) called timeout on its review of the proposed merger between Time Warner Cable Inc (NYSE:TWC) and Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA), as well as AT&T Inc.'s (NYSE:T) bid for DIRECTV (NASDAQ:DTV). Regulators say they need to hear court rulings regarding programming contracts for other media outlets before they can decide on the deals. (Bloomberg)
  3. It was a rough day for energy names, and Seadrill Ltd (NYSE:SDRL) was no exception. The stock tumbled to a fresh multi-year low, but options traders think the worst is yet to come.
  4. Jefferies weighed in on drugmakers Anacor Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:ANAC) and BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. (NASDAQ:BMRN).
  5. Eleventh-hour bears took aim at LinkedIn Corp (NYSE:LNKD), amid the stock's end-of-week slump.
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:

The International Energy Agency (IEA) forecast for a global oil glut -- as well as a strengthening greenback -- sent crude decidedly lower today. By the close, crude for April delivery was off $2.21, or 4.7%, at $44.84 per barrel -- its lowest settlement since Jan. 28. Week-over-week, black gold surrendered 9.6%.

Gold, however, managed to buck the rallying dollar -- and finish higher for a second straight session. At session's end, gold for April delivery was up 50 cents at $1,152.40 per ounce. For the week, the malleable metal gave back 1% -- its sixth weekly loss in seven.


A Schaeffer's exclusive!

The Expert's Guide

Access your FREE trading earning announcements before it's too late!


 
 

Partnercenter


NEW! Explore Schaeffer’s Partners' deals and get connected to top online brokerages with deals tailored exclusively for our readers.  Get answers to your questions regarding transfer fees, commission rates, programs and available discounts related to online trading services.

MORE | MARKETstories


The Nevada Discovery That Could Jeopardize Chinese Dominance
Click to continue to advertiser's site.
Puts Popular as GM Stock Rallies
GM puts are all the rage lately
JetBlue Stock Surging Despite Sector Skepticism
J.P. Morgan Securities downgraded JBLU to "neutral" from "overweight"
The Nevada Discovery That Could Jeopardize Chinese Dominance
Click to continue to advertiser's site.