Dow Jones Industrial Average Erases GDP Gains on 'October Surprise'

'October Surprise' Rattles Wall Street; Plus, 3 Bombing Biotechs

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Oct 28, 2016 at 4:27 PM

After spending most of the session higher on a relatively upbeat gross domestic product (GDP) reading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) plunged into the red this afternoon following the latest "October surprise" in the U.S. presidential race. By session's end, though, the Dow had pared most of those losses to hang on for a weekly win. In addition to the FBI's new Hillary Clinton email probe, corporate earnings were also in the spotlight -- with several tech stocks rallying -- while crude oil prices got crushed ahead of this weekend's Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) meeting.

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA - 18,161.19) explored a roughly 162-point range on both sides of breakeven, but finished just 8.5 points, or 0.05%, lower. Fourteen of the Dow's 30 components settled in the black, led by a 3.9% jump at Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX). Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) was the worst performer among the 16 losing blue-chip stocks, shedding 4%. On a weekly basis, the Dow was up nearly 0.1%.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,126.41) slid 6.6 points, or 0.3%, and surrendered 0.7% on the week. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 5,190.10) was even worse off, giving up 25.9 points, or 0.5%, while diving 1.3% over the past five sessions.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 16.19) jumped 0.8 point, or 5.4%, bringing its weekly advance to 21.4%. In fact, the market's "fear gauge" notched its highest weekly close since Sept. 9.

Closing indexes summary October 28

NYSE and Nasdaq Stats October 28

5 Items on Our Radar Today

  1. The FBI said it discovered a new batch of emails related to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's use of an unsecured private email server, and plans to investigate whether they contain classified information. The FBI had previously closed its email investigation last month, deciding against pursuing criminal charges. (The New York Times)
  2. Anxiety is running high at Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE:WFC), as the banking giant awaits comments from Warren Buffett, chair of leading shareholder Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A), on its recent unauthorized account scandal. BRK.A's quarterly filing, due next Friday, could indicate a reduction of its 10% stake in WFC. (Reuters)
  3. Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) stayed hot after an analyst said the social media firm's "product tweaks appear to be bearing fruit."
  4. Option bears piled on plummeting Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (NYSE:VRX).
  5. How Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE:CMG) is preparing for its latest threat.

Corporate Earnings October 28

Unusual Options Activity October 28
Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Commodities:

Crude oil suffered its first weekly loss in over a month, amid doubts that OPEC will agree on a plan to curb production this weekend. Specifically, December-dated crude lost $1.02, or 2.1%, to settle at $48.70 per barrel. On a weekly basis, liquid gold surrendered 4.2%, snapping a five-week winning streak.

Gold futures got a boost from the FBI's decision to re-open its Clinton email investigation, increasing uncertainty about who will win the upcoming U.S. presidential election. Specifically, gold for December delivery added $7.30, or 0.6%, to end at $1,276.80 per ounce. The precious metal also notched third consecutive weekly advance, adding 0.7% relative to last Friday.

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