Dow Skids On GDP, Greece; Oil Gets a Shot In the Arm

Stocks Skid on GDP, Greece; Plus, 4 Biotech Winners

May 29, 2015 at 4:27 PM
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Aside from Wednesday's rally, the only good part about this week is that it's over. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) closed lower for the fourth time in five sessions, after a dismal preliminary first-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) highlighted a dim round of economic data. Conditions weren't much better abroad, as concern over Greece's situation continued to damper investor sentiment. While stocks fell, however, crude traded sharply higher on data showing a drop in supply and active rigs. 

 

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

 

 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA - 18,010.68) was off almost 160 points -- and south of the 18,000 level -- at session lows, settling with a 115.4-point, or 0.6%, loss. Just five of the index's 30 components closed higher, led by Merck & Co., Inc.'s (NYSE:MRK) 2% gain. The biggest losers were General Electric Company (NYSE:GE), Boeing (NYSE:BA), and Visa Inc (NYSE:V), which each gave back 1.3%. For the week, the Dow fell 1.2%, but still managed a 1% monthly gain.

 

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,107.39) fell 13.4 points, or 0.6%. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 5,070.03) followed suit, losing 28 points, or 0.6%. For the week, the SPX and COMP were off 0.9% and 0.4%, respectively. The COMP managed a 2.6% gain in May, compared to the SPX's 1%.

 

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 13.84) added 0.5 point, or 4%. However, gains for the "fear gauge" were stifled by the 14 level and its 80-day moving average.  For the week, the VIX added 14.1%, but was off 4.9% on the month. 

 

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5 Items on Our Radar Today:

 

  1. The latest first-quarter GDP reading revealed the U.S. economy actually took a step back during the first few months of the year. The initial GDP report showed a 0.2% increase in economic output, whereas today's registered a 0.7% decline. (The New York Times)
  2. Even under heavy scrutiny amid mass corruption charges, FIFA President Sepp Blatter has officially held on to his position for a fifth term. Blatter didn't obtain enough votes for re-election in the first round, but his primary opponent, Prince Ali bin al-Hussein, backed out of the race. (​Reuters​)
  3. Some ambitious bets were crossing on this education equity, which rallied more than 80%. 
  4. Splunk Inc (NASDAQ:SPLK) beat on earnings, yet put players were active.
  5. Four stocks that could be in for a rough month

 

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Commodities:

 

Crude oil got a giant shot in the arm today, thanks to reports of inventory and active rig-count declines, and an uptick in gasoline demand. Crude dated for July closed $2.62, or 4.5%, higher at $60.30 per barrel. For the week and month, liquid gold added 1% and 1.1%, respectively. 

 

Gold futures edged higher today, with help from a cooling dollar and growing "safe haven" demand. At the close, August-dated gold had added $1.00, or 0.1%, to land at $1,189.80 per ounce. On a weekly basis, gold gave back 1.2%, but notched its first monthly gain since January, up 0.7% when comparing most-active contracts. 

 

 

 

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