Crude Oil Boom Can't Save Dow Jones Industrial Average

2 Big-Name Biotechs Beat Down By Analysts

by Josh Selway

Published on Aug 8, 2016 at 4:22 PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) started strong but quickly lost steam, as stocks cooled following Friday's payrolls-induced surge. Pulling the blue-chip index lower was Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK), as a broader healthcare swoon overshadowed upbeat drug news, while Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) also underperformed in light of its M&A announcement. The S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (COMP) followed the Dow's bearish lead -- but not before knocking out fresh highs. Stocks' losses came despite a huge day for crude futures, as talk of production cuts from Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) members sent oil prices soaring. 

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA - 18,529.29) ended the day 14.2 points, or 0.1%, lower. Of the Dow's 30 components, 13 closed in the black, led by Exxon Mobil Corporation's (NYSE:XOM) 1.2% gain. MRK paced the losers, falling 1.6%

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,180.89) dropped 2 points, or 0.1%, but managed to touch another record intraday high early in the session. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 5,213.14) hit an annual high of its own, though the tech-heavy index closed 8 points, or 0.2%, lower. 

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 11.50) picked up 0.1 point, or 1%, to snap its three-session losing streak. 

Indexes closing summary August 8

NYSE and NASDAQ stats August 8

5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump unveiled his tax plan in a speech today on the economy. Trump promised lower tax rates across the board, as well as a halt to federal regulations that affect businesses. (Reuters)
  2. Technical issues halted Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE:DAL) flights for roughly six hours this morning. More than 450 flights were cancelled as a result, though the stock managed to pare most of its early morning losses. (The New York Times)
  3. How Wall Street's upping its expectations on these two gold stocks. 
  4. Facebook Inc's (NASDAQ:FB) latest feature is already drawing analyst praise. 
  5. Is a leaked video behind GoPro Inc's (NASDAQ:GPRO)latest rally?

Quarterly Earnings August 8

Unusual Options Activity August 8
Data courtesy of


Crude oil futures dated for September jumped $1.22, or 2.9%, today to close at $43.02 per barrel. Helping oil prices were reports that OPEC could revive production-freeze talks at an informal meeting set for next month. 

Gold futures fell today, as traders' expectations for an interest rate hike grew after Friday's strong nonfarm payrolls report. By the close, December-dated gold was down $3.10, or 0.2%, at $1,341.30 per ounce. 

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