Dow Jones Industrial Average Plunges 392 Points, Hits Correction Territory

Dow Plunges 392; Plus, Why It's Still Smart to Fade the Fear

by Josh Selway

Published on Jan 7, 2016 at 4:25 PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) fell as much as 442 points intraday before closing on a loss of 392 -- marking a 10% correction from its May highs -- as traders reacted to deteriorating conditions in China, as well as plunging oil prices. Specifically, crude futures touched a 12-year low, with the February contract bottoming out at $32.10 per barrel early in the session. In economic news, weekly jobless claims declined ahead of tomorrow's closely watched nonfarm payrolls report -- but against this backdrop, traders weren't exactly feeling optimistic.

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA - 16,514.10) got smoked, losing 392.4 points, or 2.3%, for its lowest close since Oct. 2. For the second straight day, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) was the sole Dow component in the green by session's end, adding 2.3%. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) paced the 29 losers, dropping 4.2% each. 

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,943.09) fell 47.2 points, or 2.4%, to finish near session lows. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,689.43) also hit correction territory, closing on a loss of 146.3 points, or 3% -- its first finish below 4,700 since Oct. 1.  

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 24.99), meanwhile, jumped 4.4 points, or 21.4%, for its highest close since Sept. 29. It was the VIX's fifth straight finish above its 10-day moving average. 

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5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. The weekly report on jobless claims showed an ongoing reduction in the number of people filing for unemployment benefits. What's more, layoffs during December hit an over 15-year low. Overall, unemployment claims dropped by 10,000 for the week. (​Reuters) 

  2. An afternoon report from Reuters aggravated investors' fears. The news outlet, citing sources, said some of China's top economic advisors are insisting the central bank allow the yuan to depreciate at a faster rate. The People's Bank of China's (PBOC) decision to lower the currency's reference rate against the dollar was a primary catalyst for this morning's sell-off. (Reuters via CNBC)

  3. The latest energy giant to hit new lows. 

  4. 2 China-based stocks bears are actually running from. 

  5. The level bears are watching closely on Alibaba Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA)



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Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Commodities:

Oil futures clawed back from an early 12-year worst, but still settled at their lowest price since February 2004. Oil for February delivery ended with a loss of 70 cents, or 2.1%, to close at $33.27 per barrel. 

Gold futures rose to a two-month high today, as rising fear led investors to safe-haven assets. The metal netted its fifth straight win by adding $15.90, or 1.5%, to finish at $1,107.80 per ounce. 


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