Dow Jones Industrial Average Cools Off as World Watches Athens

4 Tanking Chinese Stocks; Plus, the Sector Catching Fire

Jul 15, 2015 at 4:20 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) snapped its four-day win streak, as traders digested Fed Chair Janet Yellen's first day of testimony before Congress and the latest round of economic data. Specifically, Yellen said she expects the central bank to raise interest rates in 2015, adding that "prospects are favorable for further improvement in the U.S. labor market and the economy more broadly." Meanwhile, the June producer price index rose more than expected -- as did industrial production -- and the Fed's Beige Book showed moderate to modest economic growth in all 12 districts last month. Overseas, traders are keeping a close eye trained on Greece, where violent protests have erupted ahead of a parliamentary vote on a controversial bailout agreement.

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

 

 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA - 18,050.17) spent time above and below breakeven, and eventually settled on a loss of 3.4 points, or 0.02%. Half of the Dow's 30 components ended higher, paced by Apple Inc.'s (NASDAQ:AAPL) 1% advance. Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX) led the 15 blue-chip decliners, declining 1.4%.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,107.40) retreated 1.6 points, or 0.1%, but maintained its foothold atop 2,100. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 5,098.94) shed about 6 points, or 0.1%, and slipped back below 5,100.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 13.23) suffered its fourth straight defeat, giving back 0.1 point, or 1.1%.

 

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5 Items on Our Radar Today:

 

  1. During her appearance before a congressional panel, Yellen was met with intense opposition from lawmakers who accused the central bank of failing to be sufficiently transparent or predictable. However, the Fed Chair disagreed with her detractors, saying she "would strongly resist agreeing to follow any rule where the stance of monetary policy depends on only the current readings of two economic variables." (Reuters, via NBC News)
  2. While acknowledging that congressional debate over the Iran nuclear deal will be heated, President Barack Obama defended the agreement during a press conference. "Without a deal, the international sanctions regime will unravel, with little ability to re-impose it," Obama said. "With this deal, we have the possibility to peacefully resolve a major threat to regional and international security." (Reuters, via CNBC)
  3. Bulls are piling on as Fitbit Inc (NYSE:FIT) keeps hitting highs.
  4. A number of drugmakers broke out today, with Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ:CELG) setting the tone on this $7.3 billion buyout.
  5. Reactions from around the Web, as Amazon.com, Inc.'s (NASDAQ:AMZN) Prime Day fell flat.

 

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Commodities:

 

Crude tumbled, as traders digested the prospect of Iranian oil hitting the market, as well as a build at a key U.S. delivery hub. By day's end, liquid gold was down $1.63, or 3.1%, at $51.41 per barrel.

 

Gold fell for a fifth straight day -- and touched an eight-month low -- amid Yellen's prediction of a 2015 rate hike. Specifically, August-dated futures lost $6.10, or 0.5%, to settle at $1,147.40 per ounce.

 

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