Dow Drops 507 Points as Sell-Off Intensifies

The S&P touched its lowest point in a year, and the RUT fell into bear-market territory

Managing Editor
Dec 17, 2018 at 4:30 PM
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Stocks were pummeled once again today, with the Dow starting the week off more than 500 points in the red for its lowest close since March 23. Negative headlines surrounding Goldman Sachs (GS), a sharp drop from the healthcare sector, and lingering fears about global economic growth have put relentless pressure on stocks all day. The sell-off has been exacerbated by concerns that a rate hike at the Fed meeting later this week could add to the stock market turmoil, with President Donald Trump earlier saying it's "incredible" the central bank is "even considering" another hike. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq also finished significantly lower, with the former touching its lowest point in over a year, while the Russell 2000 Index (RUT) fell into bear-market territory.

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

  • The Black Monday stock market alarm sounding again.
  • Bears flocked to this Obamacare casualty.
  • The Knicks buzz that moved MSG stock.
  • Plus, Starbucks stock flashing a bullish signal; Barron's bullish on Apple; and a penny stock expected to double.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 23592.98) ended down 507.5 points, or 2.1%. All 30 of the Dow components ended the day lower, with the worst of the damage felt by American Express (AXP), down 4.3%. Travelers (TRV) was the "winner," shedding only 0.5%.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,545.94) lost 54 points, or 2.1%, and earlier touched an annual low of 2,530.54. The Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 6,753.73) shed 156.9 points, or 2.3%.

The Cboe Volatility Index (VIX - 24.52) ended the day up 2.9 points, or 13.4%.

closing indexes summary december 17

nyse and nasdaq december 17

5 Items on our Radar Today

  1. Amidst the U.S. equity sell-off, bitcoin, the enigmatic cryptocurrency that took Wall Street by storm over a year ago, rallied today. The trading was heaviest in Asia, but bitcoin traded above the $3,400 level at its session highs. Still, the controversial digital currency has shed 80% of its value since last December and has given back nearly 50% in the last three months. (Reuters)
  2. Earlier today, British Prime Minister Theresa May vowed to bring the Brexit deal back to parliament for a mid-January vote. She controversially pulled the vote earlier this month, and has since successfully faced a vote of no-confidence. May will now negotiate with the European Union (EU) over concessions, although the governing entity has refused to compromise further ahead of a March 29 deadline. (Reuters)
  3. Bet on Starbucks stock to keep climbing into 2019, if past is prologue. 
  4. Barron's, options traders were bullish on Apple stock.
  5. Analyst: This penny stock could double. 

There are no earnings to report today.

unusual options activity december 17

Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Oil Drops to Lowest Point in Over a Year, Gold Gains

Oil futures were also sharply in the red today, dropping as oversupply concerns continue to weigh on investors. January-dated crude futures shed $1.32, or 2.6%, to finish at $49.88 per barrel, their lowest point in over a year.

Gold futures,, on the other hand, climbed. Their safe-haven appeal increased today amid the U.S. equity sell-off, and a weaker greenback also bolstered the dollar-denominated commodity.  February-dated futures gained $10.40, or 0.8%, to settle at $1,251.80 per ounce.


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