Dow Jones Industrial Average Shaky Ahead of Payrolls Report

Is Ackman Giving Up? Plus, the Solar Stock Burning Shorts

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Nov 5, 2015 at 4:28 PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) ended a see-saw session narrowly lower, as traders stayed cautious ahead of tomorrow's highly anticipated nonfarm payrolls report -- which could impact the timing of a Fed rate hike. Nevertheless, the blue-chip benchmark managed to avoid closing in negative ground on a year-to-date basis, despite exploring this territory around midday. Elsewhere, the broader S&P 500 Index (SPX) ticked lower amid a mixed round of economic data, settling just below the round 2,100 level -- while crude oil continued to tank.

Continue reading for more on today's market, including

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA - 17,863.43) traded in a 150-point range, but settled on a loss of just 4.2 points, or 0.02%. Sixteen of the Dow's 30 components ended in the black, led by UnitedHealth Group Inc's (NYSE:UNH) 1.4% pop. On the flip side, Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX) led a group of 14 blue-chip losers, sliding 2.3%.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,099.93) gave up its perch atop 2,100 -- albeit barely -- edging 2.4 points, or 0.1%, lower. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 5,127.74) was the worst off among its peers, slipping 14.7 points, or 0.3%.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 15.05) surrendered 0.5 point, or nearly 3%, but ended atop its 10-day moving average for a second straight day.

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5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. Weekly jobless claims came in higher than estimated, marking the largest increase since February. Meanwhile, productivity for the third quarter was stronger than expected, with manufacturing seeing the fastest increase in four years. (Reuters, via CNBC)
  2. Specifics of the Pacific Rim trade agreement were released, including details on tariffs and intellectual property rules. Congress could vote on the agreement early next year. (Los Angeles Times)
  3. Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) hit record highs after beating earnings expectations.
  4. An exclusive deal with Sony Corp (ADR) (NYSE:SNE) couldn't keep options bears away from this Internet radio interest.
  5. A round of negative analyst notes post-earnings kept United States Steel Corporation (NYSE:X) heading lower on the charts yet again, with no bottom in sight.


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Commodities:

Rising supplies in the U.S. kept oil prices falling for another day, while a stronger dollar also kept buyers at bay. December-dated crude lost $1.12, or 2.4%, to finish the day at $45.20 a barrel.

Fears of a rate hike next month haven't eased after Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart reiterated Fed Chair Janet Yellen's Wednesday statement that the move is still a "live possibility," though not a certainty. December gold futures settled at $1,104.20 an ounce, a loss of $2.00, or 0.2%, after touching a seven-week low earlier in the day.


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