Dow Jones Industrial Average Closes Lower After Bumpy Fourth-Quarter Debut

Why This Sector Could Shine In the 4Q

by Josh Selway

Published on Oct 1, 2015 at 4:28 PM

The first session of the fourth quarter was a volatile one, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) tracking a 275-point range. After a promising start, the blue-chip index was down roughly 211 points at its session low, as traders reacted to an ISM manufacturing index that came in at two-year lows and an unexpected rise in weekly jobless claims. When all was said and done, though, the blue-chip barometer had pared these losses to a modest 12 points, as caution set in ahead of tomorrow's nonfarm payrolls report -- which will be followed by speeches from a slew of Federal Reserve officials, and will likely lead to plenty of rate-hike speculation.  

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

 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA - 16,272.01) attempted to gain a foothold above breakeven in the final minutes of trading, but succumbed to a 12.7-point, or 0.1%, loss. Of the Dow's 30 components, just 12 finished in the black. Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) had the most success, closing with a 1.4% lead. Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT) paced the 18 losers with a 1.5% decline. 

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,923.82), on the other hand, fought back for a 3.8-point, or 0.2%, victory. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,627.08) also closed higher, with a gain of 6.9 points, or 0.2%. 

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 22.55) took a 2-point, or 8%, step back, closing back below its 10- and 20-day moving averages for the first time since Sept. 23.


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5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. Forecasters believe Hurricane Joaquin, which is now a Category 4 storm, will grow even stronger within the coming days. Meteorologists have had trouble tracking the storm, as it has spontaneously shifted directions. Though it's unclear whether Joaquin will hit land, heavy rain and powerful winds are expected in various states along the East Coast. (​The Washington Post​) 
  2. U.S. auto sales saw a huge jump in September, with promotional Labor Day deals providing a boost. Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) and General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) each posted brow-raising numbers, with the latter seeing a 12.5% year-over-year increase in sales. (​The Wall Street Journal​) 
  3. Headlines sent Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) in different directions. 
  4. Schaeffer's contributor Adam Warner discusses whether we should blame volatility for the market mayhem, or if it's just a byproduct of something else
  5. 2 chipmakers that got hit with bearish brokerage attention. 




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Commodities:

 

Amid tepid U.S. manufacturing data and concerns over Hurricane Joaquin, crude oil closed lower today. For November delivery, crude finished with a loss of 35 cents, or 0.8%, at $44.74 per barrel.    

Gold also edged lower, as uncertainty set in ahead of tomorrow's jobs number. Gold dated for December settled with a loss of $1.50, or 0.1%, to finish at $1,113.70 per ounce. 


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