Dow Falls Over 530 Points as Interest Rate Anxiety Weighs

The three major benchmarks settled lower on "quadruple witching" Friday

Deputy Editor
Jun 18, 2021 at 4:36 PM
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Fears that the Federal Reserve could hike interest rates sooner rather than later continued to grip Wall Street today, made even worse by comments from St. Louis Federal Reserve President Jim Bullard, who said a rate increase could happen as soon as next year. The comments had investors cycling out of reopening stocks, causing the Dow to dip 533 points, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq also settled lower on "quadruple witching" Friday. All three major indexes suffered sizable weekly drops as well, with the Nasdaq snapping its four-week winning streak, and the Dow notching its worst weekly loss since October 2020.

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

  • A look back at the weed sector's whirlwind week
  • How investors reacted to one meme stock's "hopeless" situation.
  • Plus, SWBI lands post-earnings bull notes; one analyst's airline picks; and CITI is seemingly in freefall. 

The Dow Jones Average (DJI - 33,290.08) lost 533.4 points, or 1.6% for the day. All 30 Dow members finished in the red. Home Depot (HD) saw the smallest drop, shedding 0.2%, while Chevron (CVX) fell to the bottom with a 3.8% drop. For the week, the blue-chip index lost 3.4%. 

Meanwhile, the S&P 500 Index (SPX - 4,166.45) lost 55.4 points, or 1.3%. The Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 14,030.38) lost nearly 131 points, or 0.9% for the day. The former dropped 1.9% for the week, and the latter dropped 0.3% for the week. 

Lastly, the Cboe Volatility Index (VIX - 20.70) added almost 3 points, or 16.6%. It logged its biggest one-week surge since January, adding 32.3%. 

Closing Indexes Summary June 18

NYSE and Nasdaq Stats June 18

  1. A Jefferies study showed people are heading back to the gym, while interest in at-home workouts is fading, with online searches for "gym near me" accelerating in May. (CNBC)
  2. Data from the U.S. Census Bureau says businesses in Puerto Rico are more likely to require Covid-19 vaccination for workers, due to the U.S. territory's concerns over another outbreak. (MarketWatch)
  3. Smith & Wesson stock grabs bullish analyst attention on earnings win.
  4. Which airline stocks has Wolfe Research turned bullish on?
  5. Citigroup stock's losing streak is colder than cold.

Corporate Earnings June 18

Unusual Options Activity June 18

Oil Notches Fourth Consecutive Weekly Win as U.S. Dollar Strengthens

Oil prices made back some of yesterday's losses, notching a fourth consecutive weekly win due to a stronger U.S. dollar Meanwhile, the possibility of Iranian crude coming back on the market is now fading, amid an Iranian presidential election, which may slow down negotiations that would warrant the lifting of U.S. sanctions. As a result, July-dated crude added 60 cents, or 0.8%, to settle at $71.64 per barrel, and was up 1% for the week.

Meanwhile, gold prices fell, notching their biggest one-week percentage drop since March 2020. Bullard's interest rate comments kept a lid on the precious metal, while the U.S. dollar continued to harden. This week's commodities selloff also cast a shadow over gold prices, as the viability of gold as an inflation hedge dwindles. In turn, August-dated gold dropped to its lowest level in almost seven weeks, shedding $5.80, or 0.3%, to settle at $1,769 an ounce. The commodity dropped 5.9% for the week. 

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