ECB, Oil Trigger Volatile Trading for Dow Jones Industrial Average

How Bulls Are Playing Chesapeake Energy

by Josh Selway

Published on Mar 10, 2016 at 4:22 PM

It was another choppy day for U.S. stocks, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) trading within a 308-point range on both sides of breakeven. The latest decision from the European Central Bank (ECB) had investors scooping up stocks early, after ECB President Mario Draghi and fellow policymakers opted to cut interest rates and expand their stimulus efforts. However, stocks fell in sympathy with crude futures as oil gave up early gains -- while a stronger-than-forecast report on jobless claims stoked anxiety ahead of next week's Fed meeting. 


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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA - 16,995.13) gave back an early 129-point lead -- and was rejected right at the 17,000 level in the final hour -- to end the day down 5.2 points, or 0.03%. Twelve of the Dow's 30 components closed with gains, led by Merck & Co., Inc.'s (NYSE:MRK) 1.3% advance. DuPont (NYSE:DD) was the biggest loser, down 2%. 

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,989.57) managed a 0.3-point, or 0.02%, win. Elsewhere, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,662.16) wasn't so resilient, falling 12.2 points, or 0.3%. 

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 18.05) wasn't able to hold its intraday lead, falling 0.3 point, or 1.6%. 

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5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has sent out invitations for its next event, scheduled for Monday, March 21. Many speculate the tech giant will reveal new products at the event, such as a smaller iPhone and a new iPad. (CNBC)

  2. The number of people filing for unemployment benefits in the U.S. came in lower than economists expected last week. Jobless claims fell to 259,000, which is the lowest reading since October. (Reuters)

  3. One brokerage firm's high hopes for Expedia Inc (NASDAQ:EXPE)

  4. Short sellers contributed to a volatile post-earnings session for Box Inc (NYSE:BOX)

  5. These 2 alternative energy stocks went in wildly different directions after earnings. 


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Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Commodities:

April crude futures fell by 45 cents, or 1.2%, to land at $37.84 per barrel. Oil prices took a hit on rumors Iran may threaten an agreement among major producers to stabilize output. 

Gold futures popped as the U.S. dollar dropped, hitting their highest level in over a year. At the close, gold for April delivery was up $15.40, or 1.2%, at $1,272.80 per ounce. 


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