Dow Jones Industrial Average Drops Ahead of Fed; Bank Stocks Bomb

One Drug Stock's Disastrous Day

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Sep 16, 2016 at 4:22 PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) ended the week on a sour note, but managed to hang on to a modest weekly gain, ahead of next week's highly anticipated Fed meeting. Specifically, a bigger-than-expected rise in the consumer price index (CPI) stoked worries of an interest rate hike. Meanwhile, financial stocks were particularly hard-hit, after the Justice Department slapped one bank with a huge fine, and crude oil continued getting clobbered on oversupply fears.

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA - 18,123.80) dipped 88.7 points, or 0.5%, but held on for a week-over-week advance of 0.2%. Only seven of 30 Dow stocks finished higher, led by Intel Corporation's (NASDAQ:INTC) 3% guidance-induced pop. That left 23 blue-chip losers, of which United Technologies Corporation (NYSE:UTX) was worst, down 2.5%.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,139.16) gave back 8.1 points, or 0.4%, while the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 5,244.57) surrendered 5.1 points, or 0.1%. On a weekly basis, though, the SPX and COMP gained 0.5% and 2.3%, respectively.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 15.37) dropped 0.9 point, or 5.7%, and lost 12.2% for the week.

Indexes closing summary September 16

NYSE and NASDAQ stats September 16

5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. Unilever plc (ADR) (NYSE:UL) has offered to buy Jessica Alba's The Honest Company for upwards of $1 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal. In 2011, the actress co-founded Honest, which specializes in eco-friendly baby products. (TIME)
  2. Preliminary September data from the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment survey showed no change from the prior month. Specifically, the survey reading held steady at 89.8, disappointing economists, who expected a 1-point increase. (CNBC)
  3. The congressional probe that shredded SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ:SPWR) shares.
  4. The Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) vs. Mobileye NV (NYSE:MBLY) rivalry is heating up.
  5. Options traders are bracing for a FedEx Corporation (NYSE:FDX) earnings flop.

Quarterly Earnings September 16

Unusual Options Activity September 16
Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Commodities:

Oil prices plummeted after reports suggested Iranian outputs are nearing pre-sanction levels -- and Nigeria and Libya are expected to increase oil exports -- exacerbating oversupply concerns. Specifically, October-dated crude futures sank 88 cents, or 2%, to end at $43.03 per barrel -- bringing oil's week-over-week deficit to 6.2%. Meanwhile, gasoline for October delivery stayed hot, adding another 2.2% at $1.46 per gallon on an extended outage on the Colonial Pipeline.

Gold dipped for the seventh time in the past eight trading days, pressured by a stronger dollar and a sharper-than-expected rise in consumer prices -- which could support the case for a Fed interest rate hike. By the numbers, December-dated gold dropped $7.80, or 0.6%, to $1,310.20 per ounce -- its lowest close in nearly three months. For the week, the malleable metal surrendered 1.8%.

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