Dow Jones Industrial Average Slips on Rate-Hike Anxiety

Consumer prices rose, sending the dollar -- and Fed fears -- higher

Mar 24, 2015 at 4:27 PM
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After a hot-and-cold start to the session, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) tumbled in the second half of the day, as a strong batch of economic data brought the inevitable rate-hike jitters to the forefront of investors' minds once again. Those concerns were exacerbated by comments from San Francisco Fed President John Williams, who voiced his support for an increase in rates this year, and St. Louis Fed President James Bullard, who suggested the market should prepare itself for a hike "sometime in the summer." Also weighing on markets was a stronger dollar, which found its footing after yesterday's dip. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) struggled to keep its newfound footing above the 5,000 level.

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA - 18,011.14) had a few forays into positive territory, but finished lower once again. At the close, the Dow was down 104 points, or 0.6%, for the day. Of the Dow's 30 components, only six ended positive, with McDonald's Corporation (NYSE:MCD) as the top gainer, adding 0.8%. Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX) was the biggest loser, dropping 1.6%.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,091.50) dropped 12.9 points, or 0.6%. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,994.73) ended its two-day run above 5,000, losing 16.3 points, or 0.3%.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 13.62) added 0.2 point, or 1.6%.

CLOSING SUMMARY – INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY – NYSE AND NASDAQ

5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. All 150 people on board a Lufthansa Germanwings Airbus are dead after it crashed in the French Alps earlier today. A black box recorder has been found, and will be investigated immediately, according to France's interior minister. (Reuters)
  2. New home sales rose 7.8% in February, climbing to the highest point in seven years. Sales topped 500,000 for the second straight month, the first time that's happened since the early months of 2008. (MarketWatch)
  3. Twitter, Inc. (NYSE:TWTR) bulls were at it once again.
  4. Digital Ally, Inc. (NASDAQ:DGLY) soared higher today -- and it brought sector peer TASER International, Inc. (NASDAQ:TASR) along for the ride.
  5. Options volume was off the charts for OvaScience Inc (NASDAQ:OVAS). But why?
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 edged higher to close in the black for the third straight day. May-dated oil added 6 cents, or 0.1%, to finish at $47.51 per barrel.

Gold jumped to almost three-week highs, as uncertainty about the situation in Greece led investors to the safe-haven metal. April-dated gold added $3.70, or 0.3%, to finish at $1,191.40 per ounce.

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