S&P Extends Longest Slump Since 2011; Dow Jones Industrial Average Gives Up 18K

25 Stocks That Could Rally Before Election Day

Nov 2, 2016 at 4:23 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) explored both sides of breakeven -- and was briefly down 105 points after the Fed announced its policy decision -- eventually closing below the 18,000 millennium mark for the first time in nearly four months. Specifically, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) kept interest rates unchanged -- which wasn't unexpected, especially with a tightening U.S. presidential election just around the corner. Meanwhile, heavy losses in crude oil prices pressured stocks, resulting in a seventh consecutive daily drop for both the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (COMP), marking the former's longest slump since 2011.

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA - 17,959.64) surrendered 77.5 points, or 0.4%, marking a fifth consecutive loss. Seven of the Dow's 30 components advanced, led by 3M Co's (NYSE:MMM) 0.9% gain. Among the 23 blue-chip decliners, Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) was the worst performer, slipping 1.5%.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,097.94) dropped 13.8 points, or 0.7%, to close below 2,100 for the first time since July 7. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 5,105.57) shed 48 points, or 0.9%, after a test of the 5,100 level.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 19.32) jumped 0.8 point, or 4.1%, for its loftiest daily close since June 27.

Indexes closing summary November 2
NYSE and NASDAQ stats November 2

5 Items on Our Radar Today

  1. While the Fed decided not to raise interest rates during its policy meeting this week, the central bank expressed optimism that inflation is nearing its 2% target. "The committee judges that the case for an increase in the federal funds rate has continued to strengthen but decided, for the time being, to wait for some further evidence of continued progress toward its objectives," wrote the Fed in a statement. (Reuters)
  2. Just a week after the government announced a 25% Obamacare premium hike, Anthem Inc (NYSE:ANTM) said it may reduce its participation on the program's state exchanges in 2018. "If we do not see clear evidence of an improving environment and a path towards sustainability in the marketplace, we will likely modify our strategy," said CEO Joseph Swedish. (Bloomberg)
  3. Jim Cramer called this retailer's preliminary earnings report "shocking."
  4. Why this healthcare stock sank 68%.
  5. Will Allergan plc (NYSE:AGN) take back $200? These option bears hope not.

Quarterly Earnings November 2

Unusual Options Activity November 2
Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Commodities:

A record rise in weekly crude stockpiles -- 14.4 million barrels, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA) -- took a heavy toll on oil prices. Specifically, December-dated crude futures plunged $1.33, or 2.9%, to settle at $45.34 per barrel -- a five-week low.

Gold hit its highest perch in nearly a month, and settled above the $1,300 level for the first time since Oct. 3, thanks to an ailing dollar and macro uncertainty. By day's end, gold for December delivery was up $20.20, or 1.6%, at $1,308.20 per ounce, but was slipping in electronic trading after the Fed announcement.

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