Dow Jones Industrial Average Loses 2015 Lead as Oil Stocks Slump

3 Stocks That Could Sink Your Portfolio This Month

by Kirra Fedyszyn

Published on Dec 2, 2015 at 4:32 PM
Updated on Dec 2, 2015 at 4:32 PM

U.S. stocks struggled to hold onto yesterday's gains throughout the day, eventually settling lower across the board. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) fell back into the red for the year, with dropping oil prices and a strong dollar weighing on the blue chips, as traders parsed comments from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen for more clues about a rate hike this month.

Continue reading for more on today's market, including

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA - 17,729.68) dropped 158.7 points, or 0.9%, erasing most of yesterday's gains to land back in negative territory for the year. Of the 30 blue-chip components, 29 closed in the red, with oil majors Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) and Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX) shedding more than 2% each. UnitedHealth Group Inc (NYSE:UNH) was the lone gainer, adding 1.6%.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,079.51) was the biggest loser, falling 23.1 points, or 1.1%, amid heavy losses for energy stocks. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 5,123.22) dipped 33.1 points, or 0.6%, but still leads its peers with an 8.2% year-to-date gain.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 15.91) rose as stocks struggled, adding 1.2 points, or 8.5%, to reclaim its 10-day moving average.

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5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. The San Bernardino Police Department is searching for up to three suspects in a shooting that took place in the Inland Regional Center, which provides social services. Reports say as many as 20 people were shot in the office, which is located about an hour outside of Los Angeles, California. (Los Angeles Times)
  2. Fed Chair Janet Yellen spoke to the Economic Club of Washington, stating her expectations that the economy will continue to grow toward the central bank's target level of 2% inflation. While she was clear that new data could still shape the Fed's decision on a rate hike this month, most are considering it a done deal. (MarketWatch)
  3. Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the birth of his first child -- and a major philanthropic project.
  4. This restaurant chain served up another dish of disappointment.
  5. How these 3 tablet makers are faring on the charts now that the biggest shopping days of the year are over.


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Commodities:

Oil prices slipped below the $40-a-barrel level for the first time since late August, as domestic inventories grew for the 10th straight week, and the U.S. dollar surged following the release of the Fed's Beige Book. January crude futures lost $1.91, or 4.6%, to settle at $39.94 a barrel.

Further evidence of an imminent rate hike, as well as a strong ADP payrolls report, weighed on the price of gold. February futures ended lower by $9.70, or 0.9%, to close at a new five-year low of $1,053.80 an ounce.


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