Dow Drops Nearly 500 Points; S&P Marks Lowest Close in Months

All three benchmarks finished with weekly losses

Patrick Martin
Dec 14, 2018 at 4:29 PM
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Stocks ended the week on a dour note, with the Dow closing nearly 500 points in the red, marking its lowest settlement since May. The losses started with weak economic data out of China, and piled on after healthcare icon Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) came under fire amid a report the company was aware of asbestos in its baby powder products for years. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq also finished significantly lower -- and the former marked its lowest close in eight months -- while all three indexes piled up weekly losses to boot. Amidst concerns of a global economic slowdown, Wall Street's "fear gauge" snapped a four-day losing streak. 

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

  • 2 small-cap stocks making big moves.
  • Analyst: This drug stock could double.
  • Plus, a pharma stock flashing a bearish signal; tariff buzz helps Ford stock; and a pre-earnings bear signal for Micron.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 24,100.51) ended down 497 points, or 2%. Of the 30 Dow components only Caterpillar (CAT) and Procter & Gamble (PG) finished higher, up 0.7% and 0.2%, respectively. JNJ paced the 28 laggards with a 10% drop. For the week, the Dow shed 1.2%.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,599.95) lost 50.6 points, or 1.9%. For the week, it gave back 1.3%. The Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 6,910.67) lost 159.7 points, or 2.3%. It shed 0.8% for the week.

The Cboe Volatility Index (VIX - 21.63) ended the day up 1 point, or 4.8%, but still turned in a weekly loss of 6.2%.

closing indexes summary december 14

nyse and nasdaq stats december 14

5 Items on our Radar Today

  1. Social media giant Facebook (FB) is in more privacy hot water, after an Irish regulator announced it was launching a probe into the company over a bug that may have exposed private photos of over 6 million users. The European Union (EU) has recently imposed stricter privacy rules in response to the high-profile breaches in the past year. (Reuters)
  2. In an effort to get merger approval, telecom giants Sprint (S) and T-Mobile (TMUS) are allegedly considering trimming their use of equipment supplied from Huawei Technologies. Following the high-profile arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, U.S. government officials have been pressuring companies to stop using the Chinese company's equipment, citing cyber espionage risks. (Reuters)
  3. This pharma stock is flashing a "sell" signal.
  4. Ford stock got a boost from the tariff buzz today.
  5. Tread lightly on Micron stock ahead of earnings.

corporate earnings december 14

unusual options volume dec 14

Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Oil, Gold Drop, Log Weekly Losses

Oil futures joined U.S. equities in the red today, dropping sharply in the wake of weak the economic data out of China. January-dated crude futures shed $1.38, or 2.6%, to finish at $51.20 per barrel. For the week, black gold declined 2.7%. Elsewhere, natural gas prices took a nosedive on concerns about demand, with futures falling 15% on the week.

Gold futures dropped today too, as a strengthening dollar and fears of ebbing Chinese demand outweighed the metal's "safe haven" appeal. February-dated futures shed $6, or 0.5%, to settle at $1,241.40 per ounce. For the week, it shed 0.9%.


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