Crude, Gold End Worst Month In Years; Energy Drags on Dow Jones Industrial Average

3 Spiraling China Stocks; Plus, Can GoPro Go Harder?

by Karee Venema

Published on Jul 31, 2015 at 4:30 PM
Updated on Jul 31, 2015 at 4:30 PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) explored both sides of breakeven today -- and yet another triple-digit range -- as traders weighed a relatively soft batch of economic data against a steep sell-off in oil and dismal earnings from a pair of blue-chip energy giants. However, bears made a decisive run in the final hour of trading, and by the time the dust settled, the DJIA had lost the day, while crude oil logged its biggest monthly decline since the recession. Next week could be a volatile one, too, with the highly anticipated payrolls report on tap and earnings from some major players set for release.

 

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

 

 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA - 17,690.46) made a brief appearance north of its 200-day moving average, but failed to close above a trendline that's kept the 30-stock index at bay of late. By the close, the blue-chip barometer was sitting on a 55.5-point, or 0.3%, loss. Exactly half of the DJIA's 30 components closed lower, led by Chevron Corporation's (NYSE:CVX) 4.9% plunge. The Coca-Cola Co (NYSE:KO) paced the 15 advancers with its 1.3% pop, amid M&A buzz among its bottlers. For the week, the Dow added 0.7%, and 0.4% for the month.

Despite shedding 4.7 points, or 0.2%, the S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,103.92) kept its footing atop the 2,100 mark. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 5,128.28), meanwhile, outperformed its peers, losing a mere 0.5 point. Week-over-week, the SPX and COMP added 1.2% and 0.8%, respectively. For July, the SPX jumped 2%, while the COMP rallied 2.8%.

 

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 12.12) settled not far from where it started, shedding 0.01 point, or 0.1%. On a weekly basis, the market's "fear gauge" fell 11.8% -- and surrendered 33.5% on the month.

 

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5 Items on Our Radar Today:

 

  1. The employment cost index -- a gauge of wage trends and wage inflation -- grew at its slowest pace in 33 years in the second quarter. Elsewhere, the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index fell sequentially to 93.1 from 96.1 in July, while business activity in Chicago rose to a six-month high. (Reuters)
  2. After being closed since June 26, markets in Athens, Greece, are set to reopen on Monday. Traders will be able to purchase stocks, dividends, bonds, and warrants as long as they use so-called "new money." The U.S.-listed shares of Global X FTSE Greece 20 ETF (GREK) have lost 18% since their June 26 close at $11.78. (Reuters via Schaeffer's Investment Research; Bloomberg)
  3. Exclusive fitness firm SoulCycle filed for its initial public offering (IPO) on Thursday, setting its fundraising goal at $100 million. The firm derives nearly all of its revenue from three large metro areas -- New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.
  4. Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) is giving everyone a reason to stay in this weekend.
  5. A disappointing premier for one IPO sent Sunedison Inc (NYSE:SUNE) spiraling, but there still might be hope for the stock.

 

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Commodities:

 

Crude oil nosedived today, following reports that the U.S. rig count rose and Middle East producers were pumping at record levels. By the close, crude for September delivery was down $1.40, or 2.9%, at $47.12 per barrel. For the week, crude gave back 2.1%, and 20.8% on the month -- its worst monthly decline since October 2008.

 

Gold, meanwhile, pared earlier losses following disappointing labor cost data. At session's end, December-dated gold was up $6.40, or 0.6%, at $1,095.10 per ounce. The malleable metal added 0.9% week-over-week, but shed 6.5% for the month -- its biggest monthly drop since June 2013.


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