Fed Minutes Spark Volatile Day for Dow Jones Industrial Average

Can Wal-Mart Dodge the Earnings Rabbit Hole? Plus, 2 Red-Hot Medical Tech Stocks

May 18, 2016 at 4:30 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) had a tumultuous day, exploring a range of more than 200 points on both sides of breakeven. The DJIA muscled to a triple-digit gain just after midday, thanks in part to big pre-Fed moves in the financial sector. However, the afternoon release of the Federal Open Market Committee's (FOMC) hawkish meeting minutes fueled expectations for a June rate hike, sending the Dow into the red. 

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA – 17,526.62) spanned a 200-point range over the course of the day, but finished a mere 3.4 points, or 0.02%, lower. Of the 17 declining Dow components, WMT was the biggest loser, down 3%, while JPM led the blue-chip winners with a 3.9% gain. 

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,047.63) inched up 0.4 point, or 0.02%, while the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,739.12) added 23.4 points, or 0.5%, easily outperforming its peers.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 15.95) added 0.4 point, or 2.4%, to notch its highest close since May 4.

Indexes Closing Summary May 18

NYSE and Nasdaq Stats May 18

5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. According to the Fed's meeting minutes, a June interest rate hike is "likely" in the cards, assuming "incoming data [is] consistent with economic growth picking up in the second quarter," the job market continues to improve, and inflation keeps creeping toward the central bank's 2% target. (CNBC)

  2. The Labor Department finalized a controversial new overtime law, stipulating employees who make less than $47,476 per year be compensated for more than 40 hours worked each week, to "make sure millions of Americans' hard work is rewarded." (MarketWatch)

  3. Mazor Robotics Ltd - ADR (NASDAQ:MZOR) CEO said he believed this new partnership will lead to a "new standard of care in spinal surgeries."

  4. Goldman Sachs upgraded this children's retailer.

  5. This new FDA-approved dog drug sent one stock soaring.

Quarterly Earnings May 18

Unusual Options Volume May 18
Data courtesy of


Oil prices plunged following the release of FOMC meeting minutes, giving up early gains inspired by a bigger-than-expected decline in gasoline supplies. June-dated crude futures ended down 12 cents, or 0.3%, at $48.19 per barrel.

June-dated gold lost 0.2%, or $2.50, to finish at $1,274.70 per ounce. The precious metal's plunge continued following the Fed minutes, with the front-month contract breaching $1,265 an ounce in electronic trading. .

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