Election Worries Whack Dow Jones Industrial Average; S&P Extends Losing Streak

Will the Election Slam This Sector Again?

Nov 1, 2016 at 4:22 PM
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With one week to go until the U.S. presidential election, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) plummeted triple digits -- and nearly closed below the 18,000 millennium mark for the first time since early July. Likewise, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) ended a sixth straight day in the red, marking its longest losing streak since August 2015. Specifically, stocks reacted to a number of polls suggesting Hillary Clinton's lead over Donald Trump is narrowing, while traders digested a round of mixed economic data. Meanwhile, all eyes are on the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), which kicked off its two-day meeting today, and will provide a policy update tomorrow afternoon -- though an interest rate hike is considered unlikely.

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA - 18,037.10) was down more than 200 points at its intraday low, and settled on a deficit of 105.3 points, or 0.6% -- marking the index's fourth consecutive loss. Just four of 30 Dow components ended higher, with Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX) leading the gainers, up 1.7%. Among the 26 losers, Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) fared the worst, slipping 2% post-earnings.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,111.72) gave back 14.4 points, or 0.7%, and briefly slipped below 2,100. Also, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 5,153.58) shed 35.6 points, or 0.7%, for a sixth straight loss.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 18.56) added 1.5 points, or 8.8%, for its highest close since late June, just after the "Brexit" vote.

Indexes closing summary November 1
NYSE and NASDAQ stats November 1

5 Items on Our Radar Today

  1. General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) posted a 1.7% decline in October auto sales, topping expectations for a much steeper drop. Elsewhere, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV's (NYSE:FCAU) monthly sales fell 10%, while Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) had to delay its report due to a fire at its Dearborn, Michigan, headquarters. (Reuters, via CNBC)
  2. Thomson Reuters Corp (NYSE:TRI) announced it will lay off 2,000 employees globally, or about 4% of its workforce, as part of its broader restructuring efforts. CEO Jim Smith cited "a more challenging revenue environment than we had expected at the start of the year," as the reason for the job cuts. (Bloomberg)
  3. Two bank stocks trying to avoid another nasty November.
  4. Coach Inc's (NYSE:COH) earnings breakout was a boon to plenty of option bulls.
  5. Why FedEx Corporation (NYSE:FDX) could deliver outsized November gains.

Quarterly Earnings November 1

Unusual Options Activity November 1
Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Commodities:

Despite a fatal pipeline blast in Alabama, oil futures fell amid skepticism over the prospect of production cut by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). By the close, December-dated crude was down 19 cents, or 0.4%, at $46.67 per barrel.

A sinking dollar and mounting pre-election fears fanned gold's proverbial flames today, sending the precious metal to a one-month high -- with so-called "safe havens" in demand. At day's end, gold for December delivery added $14.90, or 1.2%, to settle at $1,288 per ounce.

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