Dow Jones Industrial Average Slips on Rate-Hike Anxiety

Wal-Mart's Next Target?

by Josh Selway

Published on Oct 29, 2015 at 4:24 PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) spent most of the day nursing a post-Fed hangover, unable to maintain the momentum from Wednesday's triple-digit burst. A possible 2015 rate hike weighed on trader's minds, after the Federal Open Market Committee's (FOMC) relatively hawkish policy statement. Mostly disappointing data also dragged on sentiment, highlighted by an early reading on third-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) that missed estimates. Despite a valiant effort -- and a brief pop into positive territory -- in eleventh-hour trading, the Dow and its peers ended the session in the red.

Continue reading for more on today's market, including

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA - 17,755.80) fought back in the last trading hour, but settled 23.7 points, or 0.1%, lower. Just eight of the blue-chip index's 30 components close with gains, led by Apple Inc.'s (NASDAQ:AAPL) 1.1% lead. Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT) finished flat, while Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) paced the losers with a 2% drop. 

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,089.41) also pared its losses by the close, but edged 0.9 point, or 0.04%, to the downside. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 5,074.27) dropped 21.4 points, or 0.4%. 

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 14.61) closed with a 0.3-point, or 2% lead, but is still struggling near its 10-day moving average. 

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5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. On the heels of yesterday's Fed announcement, the Commerce Department revealed that third-quarter GDP grew at a 1.5% annual rate, just shy of projections. The slow pace was blamed on the need to work off inventory gluts, but stronger growth is expected this quarter, with a Fed rate hike still possible in December. (Reuters) 
  2. China hoped to stimulate economic growth and balance its aging population, revealing its one-child policy would be lifted for everyone. After the working population declined for the first time in decades in 2012, Chinese families may have two children without facing any penalties from the government. (Reuters, via CNBC)
  3. GPRO shares felt the pain after a lackluster quarterly earnings report and a slew of price-target cuts.
  4. It was a good day for Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK), with the shares getting a lift from better-than-expected earnings and a plan to return $4.4 billion to shareholders. 
  5. After an earnings miss this week, F struggled to recover, hoping a "Friends and Neighbors" sales event will be enough to boost 2015 numbers. 


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Commodities:

December's crude oil contract endured a volatile day, but in the end made another upward move, settling at $46.06 a barrel -- a modest increase of 12 cents, or 0.3%, from yesterday's close. Crude struggled for direction following yesterday's hefty gain -- the biggest in two months -- but an ailing dollar overshadowed lackluster GDP.

With the door left open for a December rate hike, gold fell to its lowest level in three weeks. December-dated gold futures lost $28.80, or 2.5%, to close at $1,147.30 an ounce. Because commodities like gold don't offer interest, a rate increase will likely weigh heavily on the price of the malleable metal.


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