Dow Jones Industrial Average Falls; VIX Stages Biggest Jump Since Brexit

'Fear Gauge' Stages Biggest Jump Since Brexit

Josh Selway
Aug 24, 2016 at 4:32 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) slumped today, as Wall Street's focus remains on Fed Chair Janet Yellen's Friday speech in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Sliding oil prices also sapped trader sentiment, after U.S. crude inventories unexpectedly rose last week. Disappointing existing home sales for July, as well as a broad healthcare sell-off, only added to the dreary backdrop. As such, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) and S&P 500 Index (SPX) followed the Dow's bearish lead, while the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) enjoyed its largest single-day percentage gain since June 24 -- otherwise known as "Brexit Friday." 


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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA - 18,481.49) fell 65.8 points, or 0.4%, spending nearly the entire session below breakeven. Just eight of the 30 Dow components closed with gains, led by Nike Inc's (NYSE:NKE) 1%jump.  UnitedHealth Group Inc (NYSE:UNH) was the biggest loser, falling 1.5%, while The Coca-Cola Co (NYSE:KO) was flat.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,175.44) shed 11.5 points, or 0.5%. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 5,217.70) fared the worst, losing 42.4 points, or 0.8%, as biotechs swooned. 

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX -13.45) jumped 1.1 point, or 8.6%, for its best close since July 12. 

Indexes closing summary August 24
NYSE and Nasdaq stats August 24

5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. For the second straight day, Mylan NV (NASDAQ:MYL) sold off amid drama surrounding the price of its popular EpiPen product. Adding fuel to the fire was Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, who said the company should lower its price, and released a statement saying, "It's wrong when drug companies put profits ahead of patients, raising prices without justifying the value behind them." This isn't the first time Clinton has taken aim at inflated drug prices. (CNBC)
  2. Scientists have confirmed the existence of Earth-like planet Proxima b, which orbits Proxima Centauri, the closest star to our sun. The news is notable since Proxima b resides in a habitable distance from its sun, making it the closest planet outside our solar system that could potentially sustain life. (CNN)
  3. The "unavoidable risks" for one solar energy company.
  4. The $16.6 million news that lifted this Zika stock. 
  5. A legal win for Fitbit Inc (NYSE:FIT).

Quarterly earnings August 24

Unusual options activity August 24
Data courtesy of
Trade-Alert

Commodities:

The unexpected increase in weekly crude inventories pressured oil prices lower. At the close, October-dated crude futures were off $1.33, or 2.8%, to settle at $46.77 per barrel. 

Gold futures slipped amid Fed uncertainty, with the December-dated contract falling $16.40, or 1.2%, to close at $1,329.70 an ounce -- the contract's lowest close in almost one month. 

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