Dow Falls 382 Points After Fed Minutes Reveal

The Federal Reserve discussed tapering plans in its July meeting

Assistant Editor
Aug 18, 2021 at 4:28 PM
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Wall Street had another tough day, with the Dow shedding 382 points  -- its second-straight decline of triple digits and worst single-session drop since July 19. Today's price action came later in the day, after the Federal Reserve's latest meeting minutes revealed the central bank discussed reducing stimulus back in July.

Namely, the Fed pondered tightening the reins on its bond buying program, noted the economy reached its inflation goal, and called the progress of job growth "satisfying." The S&P 500 also finished deep in red ink for its worst day since July 19, while the Nasdaq gave up midday gains to finish comfortably below breakeven. Elsewhere, Wall Street's "fear gauge," the Cboe Volatility Index (VIX), notched its highest close since July 19.

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

  • Why options bulls should put money on DraftKings stock.
  • One cannabis stock eyeing U.S. expansion.
  • Plus, more on Lowe's beat-and-raise; ViacomCBS upgraded on streaming buzz; and one small-cap retail stock to target.

The Dow Jones Average (DJI - 35, 960.69) fell 382.6 points, or 1.1% for the day. Of the two blue-chip components that finished higher, Salesforce.com (CRM) led the charge with a 1.7% rise, while Chevron (CVX) fell 4% to pace the long list of laggards.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 4,400.27) shed 47.8 points, or 1.1% for the day. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 14, 525.91) gained 130.3 points, or 0.9%, for the day.

Lastly, the Cboe Volatility Index (VIX - 21.57) rose 3.7 points, or 20.4%, for the day. 

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  1. Apple is backing the Biden's ambitious goal to eliminate greenhouse gases from power plants by 2035. (CNBC)
  2. Those who received Moderna or Pfizer doses of the Covid-19 vaccine in the U.S. are eligible for a third booster dose in September. (MarketWatch)
  3. Lowe's stock was one of the days big winners.
  4. ViacomCBS stock earned a rare upgrade.
  5. Don't count Buckle stock out just yet.

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Delta Variant Weighs on Commodities 

Oil prices fell on Wednesday, as a bigger-than-expected fall in U.S. crude inventories -- down to 435.5 million barrels, the lowest level since January 2020 -- failed to boost sentiment. In addition, fears remain about fuel demand as Covid-19 cases surge across the globe. In response, September-dated crude lost $1.13, or 1.7%, to settle at $65.46, its lowest settlement since May.

Gold's appeal, meanwhile, was muted. However, the safe-haven asset headed higher in electronic trading after the Fed minutes were released. December-dated gold shed $3.40, or 0.2%, to settle at $1,784.40 an ounce today.

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