'Unlikely' June Rate Hike Fails to Boost Dow Jones Industrial Average

A Turbulent Day for Airline Stocks; Plus, Fed Fails to Lift Dow

May 20, 2015 at 4:19 PM
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It was another choppy day for the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), which failed to hit an all-time high for the first time in three days, and settled slightly lower. However, in the wake of the Fed's latest meeting minutes -- which rendered a June interest-rate hike "unlikely" -- the S&P 500 Index (SPX) jumped to a record peak before ending on a small loss. Meanwhile, during a speech overseas, Chicago Fed President Charles Evans continued to push for a 2016 liftoff. Looking ahead, the central bank will remain in focus, with Fed Chair Janet Yellen slated to give a speech Friday afternoon.

 

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

 

 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA - 18,285.40) ended a see-saw session 27 points, or 0.2%, lower. Twelve of the Dow's 30 components ended higher, paced by General Electric Company's (NYSE:GE) 1.1% pop. DuPont (NYSE:DD) and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) led the 17 blue-chip decliners, losing 0.8% apiece. Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) was flat.


The
S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,125.85) gave back 2 points, or 0.1%, but managed to touch a record high of 2,134.72. On the flip side, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 5,071.74) added 1.7 points, or 0.03%, after backing down from the 5,100 level.

 

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 12.88) edged up 0.03 point, or 0.2%, but still ended a fifth consecutive session south of 13.

 

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5 Items on Our Radar Today:


  1. Minutes from the Fed's April meeting revealed confidence in the U.S. economy, despite lackluster first-quarter growth -- which the central bank attributed to "transitory" factors it expects will diminish. Notably, the minutes said "many participants ... thought it was unlikely that the data available in June would provide sufficient confirmation that the conditions for raising the target range for the federal funds rate had been satisfied, although they generally did not rule out this possibility." (CNBC)
  2. A handful of major financial firms will face over $5 billion in penalties after pleading guilty to manipulating the forex currency market. "By agreeing not to buy or sell at certain times the traders protected each other's trading positions by withholding supply of or demand for currency and suppressing competition in the FX market," the Department of Justice said of the market-manipulating group, dubbed "The Cartel." (USA Today)
  3. Calls flew off the shelves following American Eagle Outfitters' (NYSE:AEO) first-quarter results, while its retail rival faces skepticism ahead of its impending earnings report.
  4. How Under Armour Inc (NYSE:UA) takes fashion faux pas to another level.
  5. Why Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) could be on the brink of more positive analyst attention.

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Commodities:

 

Crude futures snapped a five-day losing streak thanks to a third straight weekly inventory draw, as well as continued unrest in Yemen. By day's end, June-dated oil was up 99 cents, or 1.7%, to settle at $58.98 per barrel.

 

Gold bounced back from an early slump, as the Fed minutes soothed fears of an impending interest-rate liftoff. At the close, June-dated futures were $2, or 0.2%, higher, at $1,208.70 per ounce -- and continued to rise afterward in electronic trading.


 

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