Dow Jones Industrial Average Falls Triple Digits; Biotechs Rock COMP

Dow, Nasdaq Plummet; Plus, How Traders Are Playing the Tesla Reveal

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Apr 30, 2015 at 4:23 PM
Updated on Apr 30, 2015 at 4:44 PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) plunged today -- giving up its perch atop 18,000 and briefly falling into negative year-to-date territory -- despite encouraging jobs data and a modest increase in consumer spending. Pressuring the blue-chip bellwether was Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), which -- along with biotechs and tech stocks -- also dragged the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) below 5,000 for the first time since April 20.

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA - 17,840.52) was off by as many as 260.6 points, and finished on a loss of 195 points, or 1.1% -- just barely in the black for 2015. On a monthly basis, however, the blue-chip index ended 0.4% higher. Twenty-seven of the Dow's 30 components gave up ground, led by AAPL's 2.7% dive. Conversely, American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) tacked on 0.4%, while Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) and The Coca-Cola Co (NYSE:KO) edged up 0.2% apiece.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,085.51) dropped 21.3 points, or 1% -- and gave up the 2,100 level -- while the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,941.42) dove below 5,000, ending on a deficit of 82.2 points, or 1.6%. For the month of April, the SPX and COMP rose 0.9% and 0.8%, respectively.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 14.55) jumped 1.2 points, or 8.7%, to clear its 40-day moving average for the first time since March 31.

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5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. Weekly jobless claims fell to a 15-year low last week, dropping to 262,000 from 296,000, according to the Labor Department. Another encouraging sign of a firming labor market -- private-sector wages climbed 0.7% during the first quarter of 2015, and 2.8% year-over-year through March. (Bloomberg)
  2. General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) unveiled plans to invest $5.4 billion in its U.S. manufacturing plants over the next three years. The investment is expected to create 650 new positions, and support 15,000 existing ones. (Reuters)
  3. Why bullish bettors could get burnt by this coffee concern.
  4. Three stocks that shot higher on strong earnings and positive reactions on the Street.
  5. On the flip side, this electronics issue got hammered on earnings, bringing option bears to the table.

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Commodities:

Crude oil jumped on a weaker dollar and expectations that U.S. stockpiles will begin decreasing. By the close, oil for June delivery was up $1.05, or 1.8%, to settle at $59.63 per barrel. On a month-over-month basis, the contract was 25.3% higher -- black gold's biggest monthly gain since 2009.

Gold was pressured lower by the drop in weekly jobless claims, as well as an increase in U.S. Treasury yields. At the close, gold for June delivery was down $27.60, or 2.3%, at $1,182.40 per ounce. On a monthly basis, the malleable metal was off 0.1%.


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