Rate-Hike Speculation Weighs on Dow Jones Industrial Average

2 Auto Stocks That Crashed and Burned; Plus, Ugly Day for Airlines

by Celeste Taylor

Published on May 19, 2016 at 4:27 PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) spent the entire session in the red, continuing its slide from yesterday, and at one point even giving up its year-to-date gains. Fed officials continued to fan the rate-hike flames, with New York Fed President William Dudley calling expectations for a summer increase "reasonable." The central bank speculation and a dismal day for oil overshadowed solid earnings from blue-chip stocks Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT), the latter of which broke a recent string of unimpressive retailer reports.

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA – 17,435.40) was down nearly 200 points at its session low, but managed to contain its losses to 91.2 points, or 0.5%. Of the seven DJIA winners, WMT enjoyed the biggest gains, up 9.6% after strong earnings, while Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS) was the biggest loser, down 3.3%.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX – 2,040.04) also tumbled, finishing the day down 7.6 points, or 0.4%, while the Nasdaq Composite (COMP – 4,712.53) finished down 26.6 points, or 0.6%.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 16.33) gained 0.4 point, or 2.4%, to its highest finish since mid-March.

Indexes Closing Summary May 19

NYSE and Nasdaq Stats May 19

5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. German pharma Bayer AG (BAYN) confirmed it made an offer to buy Monsanto Company (NYSE:MON) for an undisclosed amount. (Reuters)

  2. Professional gambler Billy Walters and former Dean Foods Co (NYSE:DF) CEO Thomas Davis were accused of insider trading, with professional golfer Phil Mickelson allegedly profiting from the conspiracy. (MarketWatch)

  3. GrubHub Inc (NYSE:GRUB) is under attack by options bears

  4. Is now the time to invest in silver?

  5. Are options traders hoping for a Deere & Company (NYSE:DE) earnings miss?


Quarterly Earnings May 19

Unusual Options Activity May 19
Data courtesy of


Oil prices fell as the dollar strengthened in anticipation of a summer interest rate hike, with June-dated crude futures ending at $48.16 per barrel, down 3 cents, or 0.06%. The fall was padded by concerns over supply shortages, with Nigeria's largest crude oil terminal closed due to security concerns.

June-dated gold slid 1.5%, or $19.60, to end the day at $1,254.80 an ounce. The precious metal hit a three-week low, pressured by a stronger dollar.

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