Dow Jones Industrial Average Pares Triple-Digit Lead

Bill Ackman Blasts Valeant; Plus, 3 Red-Hot Commodity Stocks

Apr 8, 2016 at 4:32 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) kicked off the session with a triple-digit lead, but lost steam as the day progressed. Despite soaring oil prices, a cooling yen, and relatively dovish statements from Fed Chair Janet Yellen and New York Fed President William Dudley, tumbling retail stocks and a drop in wholesale inventories weighed on sentiment. Elsewhere, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) clawed its way back into positive year-to-date territory, while the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) once again underperformed its peers amid Facebook Inc's (NASDAQ:FB) fall from grace. For the week, it was the Dow's worst five-day stretch since February.

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA - 17,576.96) was up 152 points at its intraday high, before settling with a slimmer 35-point, or 0.2%, gain. Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX) paced the 18 advancers with its 1.6% pop, while Nike Inc's (NYSE:NKE) 1.5% drop led the decliners. For the week, the Dow gave back 1.2%.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,047.60) closed up 5.7 points, or 0.3%, while the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,850.69) added 2.3 points, or 0.05%. Week-over-week, the SPX and COMP surrendered 1.2% and 1.3%, respectively.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 15.36) shed 0.8 point, or 5%. On a weekly basis, however, the market's "fear gauge" soared 17.3% to notch its highest weekly close since March 11.

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5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. Roughly one week after dropping an encryption lawsuit against Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), the Justice Department said it is continuing to press the tech titan over an iPhone used in a New York drug case. In a notice to a federal judge in New York, prosecutors wrote, "the government continues to require Apple’s assistance in accessing the data that it is authorized to search by Warrant," and "will not modify" its requests. (Bloomberg)
  2. CEOs of major U.S. corporations saw their pay fall more sharply than any year since the Great Recession in 2015 -- with median pay down 3.8% to $10.8 million -- amid slower growth in pension plans. Stock-based compensation, meanwhile, saw a median rise of 7%. (MarketWatch)
  3. Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) has reportedly extended the deadline for those bidding on its businesses by one week -- a theme echoed in the options pits.
  4. A big breakout for this food stock sent options volume soaring.
  5. Alcoa Inc (NYSE:AA) will unofficially kick off earnings season on Monday night, and the options market is betting on a big post-earnings move.

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Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Commodities:

Crude futures ended the week on a strong note, after data from Baker Hughes showed active oil rigs fell for a third straight week. By the close, crude for May delivery was up $2.46, or 6.6%, at $39.72 per barrel. On a weekly basis, crude futures soared 8%.

Gold futures caught a lift from Fed Chair Janet Yellen's dovish tone and uncertainty ahead of first-quarter earnings season. At session's end, June-dated gold was up $6.30, or 0.5%, at $1,243.80 per ounce. Week-over-week, gold futures added 1.7% -- the metal's biggest weekly gain since March 17.

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