Dow Jones Industrial Average Ekes Out a Win; Nasdaq Ends at Record High

The VIX Signal Not Seen Since the Financial Crisis

by Josh Selway

Published on Aug 9, 2016 at 4:29 PM

After a strong start, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) hit an afternoon speed bump, giving back nearly all of its gains as oil rained on stocks' proverbial parade. Specifically, crude oil futures dipped after the Energy Information Administration (EIA) predicted a smaller-than-expected decline in 2016 U.S. crude production. Likewise, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (COMP) also trimmed their leads in afternoon trading, but not before hitting new record highs, thanks to a rally in healthcare stocks.   


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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA - 18,533.05) finished just 3.8 points, or 0.02%, above breakeven. Seventeen of 30 Dow components closed in the black, led by Walt Disney Co's (NYSE:DIS) 1% gain ahead of earnings. The biggest loser was Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT), which fell 0.7%. 

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,181.74) picked up 0.9 point, or 0.04%, while hitting another record high. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 5,225.48) added 12.3 points, or 0.2%, hitting a record closing high. 

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 11.66) managed a 0.2-point, or 1.4%, win, but not before touching an annual low of 11.02. 

Indexes closing summary August 9
NYSE and NASDAQ stats August 9

5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. U.S. worker productivity dropped for a third consecutive quarter, falling at an annualized rate of 0.5%, the Labor Department said. This was far below economists' expectations for a 0.4% gain. (Bloomberg)
  2. Activist investor Carl Icahn touted Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's economic plan today on CNBC. Icahn went on to say he believes Trump will win the presidency thanks to support from blue-collar workers -- "the Archie Bunker[s] of the world." (Reuters)
  3. Why analysts are eyeing M&A possibilities for this TV provider. 
  4. The recent surge in demand for Lululemon Athletica inc. (NASDAQ:LULU) options
  5. The semiconductor stock that's crushing short sellers


Quarterly Earnings August 9
Unusual Options Activity August 9
Data courtesy of
Trade-Alert

Commodities:

Oil prices sunk today after the EIA's crude production forecast. September-dated crude futures were down 25 cents, or 0.6%, at the close, to end at $42.77 per barrel. 

Gold rose as the dollar cooled. Gold futures dated for December closed $5.40, or 0.4%, higher at $1,346.70 an ounce. 

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