Biotech Bites Nasdaq; Dow Jones Industrial Average Snaps Losing Streak

Biotechs Drill Nasdaq; Plus, Reading the Tea Leaves On a Rare Sentiment Signal

Sep 25, 2015 at 4:31 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) ended the week on a solid note, hanging on to a healthy lead despite a late-day pullback -- and snapping a three-day losing streak. Boosting the blue-chip bellwether was an upbeat gross domestic product (GDP) reading, as well as a post-earnings breakout from Nike Inc (NYSE:NKE). Meanwhile, Kansas City Fed President Esther George spoke out in favor of an interest rate hike -- saying "the conditions are there" -- just a day after Fed Chair Janet Yellen offered up her opinion on the subject. However, while blue chips fared well, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) wasn't so fortunate, weighed down by a continued sell-off in biotechs.

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

 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA - 16,314.67) was up by as many as 264 points, before settling on a gain of 113.4 points, or 0.7%. While the index won the day, it lost the week -- down 0.4% from last Friday's close. Of the 30 Dow components, 22 advanced, with NKE in the lead -- up 8.9%. UnitedHealth Group Inc (NYSE:UNH) paced the eight losers, dropping 3.9%.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,931.34) charted both sides of breakeven, but ultimately slipped 0.9 point, or 0.1%. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,686.50) dropped 48 points, or 1%, as biotechs pulled back sharply. Week-over-week, the SPX and COMP lost 1.4% and 2.9%, respectively.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 23.62) staged an eleventh-hour comeback to settle on a gain of 0.2 point, or 0.6%. For the week, the market's "fear gauge" added 6%.

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5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. The U.S. second-quarter GDP expanded 3.9% -- topping the consensus estimate of 3.7% -- the Commerce Department reported. Growth was primarily driven by consumer spending on healthcare and transport, as well as construction spending. (Business Insider)
  2. Ohio Congressman John Boehner announced he will resign from his role as Speaker of the House, and also give up his seat, at the end of October, after a prolonged conflict with others within the Republican Party. "My first job as speaker is to protect the institution," he said. "It had become clear to me that this prolonged leadership turmoil would do irreparable harm to the institution." (The New York Times)
  3. The iPhone 6s debut had calls running hot on this pair AAPL suppliers, as well as this outperforming chipmaker.
  4. Why you'll want to keep tabs on these four stocks come Monday.
  5. How short sellers have wreaked havoc on GoPro Inc (NASDAQ:GPRO).


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Commodities:

 

Crude oil tested both sides of breakeven before resolving higher -- helped by a fourth straight weekly drop in oil rigs, as well as encouraging GDP data. Specifically, crude for November delivery tacked on 79 cents, or 1.8%, to settle at $45.70 per barrel. On a weekly basis, the most-active contract advanced 2.3%.

Gold dropped today on a stronger greenback, after Fed Chair Janet Yellen left the door open for a 2015 interest rate hike. By the close, December-dated gold was down $8.20, or 0.7%, at $1,145.60 per ounce. Week-over-week, the malleable metal added 0.7%. Elsewhere, platinum suffered its biggest weekly drop in two months, hurt by the Volkswagen scandal; palladium benefited, though, posting its largest one-week advance in four years.

 

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