IBM Can't Save Dow Jones Industrial Average

The Big Sunedison Shake-Up; Plus, Twitter's Hot Streak

by Karee Venema

Published on Feb 18, 2016 at 4:27 PM
Updated on Feb 18, 2016 at 4:29 PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) jumped out of the gate -- crossing the 16,500 threshold for the first time since Feb. 1. However, a batch of encouraging economic data and a big pop for International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) were not enough to overshadow disappointing earnings from Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) and subdued oil prices. By the close, the Dow was in the red, leaving its daily winning streak at three.


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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA - 16,413.43) was up 58 points at its intraday peak, before closing down 40.4 points, or 0.3%. Twenty of the Dow's 30 components closed lower, paced by WMT's 3% drop. IBM led the 10 advancers with its 5% gain.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,917.83) moved higher at the open, as well, but settled with a 9-point, or 0.5%, drop, and back in correction territory. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,487.54) fared the worst of its peers, surrendering 46.5 points, or 1%.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 21.64), meanwhile, gave back 0.7 point, or 3%, to close south of its 50-day moving average for the first time since Dec. 29.

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5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. President Barack Obama unveiled plans to visit Cuba next month -- marking the first visit to Havana by a sitting president since 1928. The Obama administration has been working toward renewing its relationship with the Communist nation since last year. (Reuters)

  2. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said it it now expects global gross domestic product (GDP) to expand by 3% this year -- about 0.3 percentage point less than it forecast three months ago. The OECD said the U.S., German, and Brazilian economies are slowing, and highlighted financial stability risks to emerging markets, such as "sharp exchange-rate movements and the effects of high domestic debt." (Bloomberg)

  3. News that IBM bought Truven Health Analytics for $2.6 billion, as well as a bullish brokerage note, sent the shares surging today -- and option traders eyeing additional gains.

  4. Fitbit Inc (NYSE:FIT) shrugged off some negative analyst attention to finish with a fourth straight win.

  5. The semiconductor stock that soared in the wake of a well-received earnings report.

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Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Commodities:

Crude oil futures pared earlier gains of more than 3%, after weekly crude inventories rose and Saudi Arabia's foreign minister said the country is "not prepared to cut production." At the close, the March-dated contract settled up 11 cents, or 0.4%, at $30.77 per barrel.

Gold, meanwhile, benefited from the choppy day of trading in the equities market. At session's end, gold for April delivery had tacked on $14.90, or 1.2%, to sit at $1,226.30 per ounce.


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