Dow Jones Industrial Average Closes Banner Month on a Low Note

Bill Ackman's Worst-Case Scenario

by Josh Selway

Published on Oct 30, 2015 at 4:23 PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) settled lower today in a choppy session. Muddying up the ongoing rate-hike speculation was mixed economic data, as traders weighed weak personal income growth against a bigger-than-forecast rise in the Chicago purchasing managers index (PMI). However, limiting the Dow's losses were strong quarterly reports from energy giants Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) and Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX). Even with today's drop, the Dow closed October with its largest monthly gain in four years, while snagging a fifth straight weekly win. 

Continue reading for more on today's market, including

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA - 17,663.54) traded on both sides of breakeven, but broke sharply lower in late-day trading, for a loss of 92.3 points, or 0.5%. Just seven of the Dow's 30 components closed higher, led by Caterpillar Inc.'s (NYSE:CAT) 1.4% pop. Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) was the biggest loser with a 2.7% slide. The Dow added roughly 0.1% on the week, and 8.5% in October. 

The S&P 500 Index (SPX -  2,079.36) followed a similar path, closing with a 10.1-point, or 0.5%, loss. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 5,053.75) settled 20.5 points, or 0.4%, lower. The indexes posted respective weekly wins of 0.2% and 0.4% -- the fifth straight for each. For the month, the SPX gained 8.3%, while the COMP surged 9.4%.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 15.07) gained 0.5 point, or 3.2%, while finishing with a weekly lead of 4.2%. For the month, though, the VIX surrendered 38.5%.

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5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. The U.S. government will narrowly avoid default, assuming President Obama signs the bill passed in the Senate today and in the House earlier this week. The two-year budget deal includes an $80 billion increase in spending and extends borrowing authority through March 2017. (Bloomberg)
  2. The White House confirmed that a small number of special operation troops will be sent to Syria in a shift of U.S. policy against ISIS. Fewer than 50 commandos will be deployed to work with opposition forces and will not be in a direct combat situation. (CNBC) 
  3. LinkedIn Corp (NYSE:LNKD) enjoyed a boost after beating earnings expectations and earning no fewer than 19 price-target increases. 
  4. A good day on the charts and improved guidance for Expedia Inc (NASDAQ:EXPE) could have bears rushing to the exits.  
  5. Solaredge Technologies Inc (NASDAQ:SEDG) swooned in sympathy with a sector peer


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Commodities:

Oil prices closed higher today, after active U.S. oil rig numbers fell for the ninth week in a row. December crude oil ended at $46.59 per barrel, a gain of 53 cents, or 1.2 %. For the week, black gold added 4.5%, and gained 3.3% in October.

It was the lowest close in three weeks for December-dated gold, settling at $1,141.40 an ounce, a loss of $5.90, or 0.5%. The possibility of a December rate hike is still weighing on the malleable metal. For the week, gold gave up 1.8%, but added 2.4% on the month.


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