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Fed Talk Sends Dow Jones Industrial Average Down 180 Points

Carl Icahn's Strategic Move

May 17, 2016 at 4:30 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) spent the entire session in the red -- and gave back all of yesterday's triple-digit gains -- as rate-hike anxiety overshadowed rising oil prices. Specifically, two Fed officials suggested that the central bank could raise interest rates as early as June -- a theory echoed by this morning's inflation data. The Dow wasn't the only major benchmark to feel the heat ahead of tomorrow's release of the latest Fed meeting minutes, with the S&P 500 Index (SPX) nearly erasing its year-to-date gains and the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) briefly slipping into correction territory -- and notching its worst day since April 7.

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA - 17,529.98) spent the entire day in negative territory, and finished down 180.7 points, or 1%. Among the 30 Dow stocks, only Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT) and DuPont (NYSE:DD) ended higher, gaining a respective 0.5% and 0.3%, while JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) finished flat. The other 27 blue chips settled in the red, with Home Depot Inc (NYSE:HD) worst off, dropping 2.5% on a negative earnings reaction.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,047.21) lost 19.5 points, or 0.9%, while the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,715.73) fared worse than its peers, down 59.7 points, or 1.3% -- but found a foothold atop the round 4,700 level.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 15.57) popped 0.9 point, or 6.1%, to reclaim its 10-day moving average.

Indexes Closing Summary May 17

NYSE and Nasdaq Stats May 17

5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. June "could certainly be a meeting at which action could be taken," said Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart, while saying there is a possibility of two to three rate hikes by year's end. Additionally, San Francisco Fed President John Williams said he believes the economy is "doing great," and called the June meeting a "live" one. (MarketWatch)

  2. The consumer price index (CPI) jumped 0.4% in April -- its biggest gain in over three years. Elsewhere on the economic front, housing starts rose by a slightly more-than-expected 6.6% in April to a seasonally adjusted 1.17-million-unit pace, while industrial production rose by the most since November 2014. (CNBC; MarketWatch; ABC News)

  3. This retailer is struggling to tread water after its failed merger, and analysts aren't optimistic.

  4. Option bulls are cashing in as Hertz Global Holdings Inc (NYSE:HTZ) gains.

  5. These 3 stocks have call buyers hot post-earnings.

Quarterly Earnings May 17


Unusual Options Activity May 17
Data courtesy of
Trade-Alert

Commodities:

Oil prices climbed to hit another year-to-date high, as production issues in Canada and Nigeria continued to act as a boon for black gold. At the close, June-dated crude futures were up 59 cents, or 1.2%, at $48.31 per barrel.

Gold once again ticked higher, bolstered by its safe-have status and a weakening dollar. At the close, June-dated gold futures ended at $1276.90 per ounce, up $2.87, or 0.2%.

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