Dismal Data Sends Dow Jones Industrial Average Spiraling

Crude bounced back after domestic production slowed

Apr 1, 2015 at 4:23 PM
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A dreary finish to the first quarter carried over into today's trading, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) kicking the second quarter off with a significant loss. Stoking the day's risk-off attitude was a round of disappointing economic data, which included updates on jobs, manufacturing, and car sales. Elsewhere, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) slumped today -- but could be on the mend tomorrow -- while the Nasdaq Composite's (COMP) tumble was contained by its 50-day moving average.

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA - 17,698.18) spent almost the entire day in the red, eventually closing down 77.9 points, or 0.4%. Twenty-two of the Dow's 30 components closed lower, led by Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.'s (NYSE:WMT) 1.9% drop. Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS) paced the eight advancers with its 2.3% gain.

It was a similar set-up for the S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,059.69), which closed down 8.2 points, or 0.4%. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,880.23), meanwhile, ended with a 20.7-point, or 0.4%, loss.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 15.11) popped higher at the open, but by the time the dust settled, the market's "fear gauge" was off 0.2 point, or 1.2%, and back below its 40-day moving average.



5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. Jobs data began to trickle in today, ahead of Friday's nonfarm payrolls report. Specifically, ADP said the private sector added 189,000 jobs in March -- well below economists' estimate for 225,000. (USA Today)
  2. President Barack Obama today signed an executive order aimed at battling cyberattacks. The order will allow the Treasury Department to impose sanctions on individuals or organizations involved in massive cyberattacks that incur "significant" damages or harm "critical infrastructure." (MarketWatch)
  3. A number of Wall Street heavyweights have provided feedback on Indiana's recently passed Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and with Arkansas lawmakers approving a similar bill yesterday, this blue chip made sure its opinion was known.
  4. Breaking down the multi-million-dollar bullish bet on OvaScience Inc (NASDAQ:OVAS).
  5. News of fresh competition sent Pandora Media Inc (NYSE:P) south, but options traders paid no mind.

For a look at today's options movers and commodities activity, head to page 2.




Crude bounced back in a big way, after domestic production declined slightly, and nuclear negotiations in Iran missed a deadline. By the close, crude for May delivery was up $2.49, or 5.2%, at $50.09 per barrel.

Gold snapped its recent losing streak -- and buoyed mining stocks -- as today's uninspiring economic data heightened expectations of a delayed interest-rate hike. Also helping to boost the malleable metal was a cooling dollar. At session's end, June-dated gold was up $25, or 2.1%, at $1,208.20 per ounce.



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