Dow Drops 532 Points Amid Quadruple Witching

Investors fretted over the quick spread of the Covid-19 omicron strain

Digital Content Manager
Dec 17, 2021 at 4:32 PM
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The Dow sank deeper into the red amid a volatile "quadruple witching" Friday. The blue-chip index logged a 532-point drop as investors fretted over the spread of the Covid-19 omicron variant and the Federal Reserve's decision to aggressively taper off economic stimulus. The S&P 500 logged its fourth loss in five trading days, while the Nasdaq settled just below breakeven, as traders continued to rotate out of high-growth stocks. For the week, the three major benchmarks were lower, with the Dow marking its fifth weekly drop in six weeks.

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

  • United States Steel issued a dismal quarterly outlook
  • Why this restaurant stock brushed off an earnings win.
  • Plus, FedEx beats analysts' estimates; Cerner stock's new record high; and your ticket to the Metaverse.

The Dow Jones Average (DJI - 35,365.44) fell 532.2 points, or 1.5% for the day, and 1.7% for the week. IBM (IBM) led the gainers, adding 1.2%, while Goldman Sachs Group (GS) paced the laggards with a 3.9% fall.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 4,620.64) shed 48 points, or 1% for the day, and 1.9% for the week. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 15,169.68) shaved 10.8 points, or 0.07% for the day, and 3% for the week.

Lastly, the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 21.57) added 1 point, or 4.9% for the day, and 15.4% for the week.

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  1. Pfizer (PFE) executives said the Covid-19 pandemic could become an endemic by 2024, meaning the disease will frequently cause regional outbreaks, similar to the flu. (CNBC)
  2.  AMC Entertainment (AMC) said "Spider-Man: No Way Home" has set a December box office record, with 1.1 million people watching it in its theaters during opening night. (MarketWatch) 
  3. FedEx stock broke higher after beating Wall Street's estimates. 
  4. Buyout rumors pushed Cerner stock to fresh record highs
  5. This cybersecurity stock may be your ticket to Metaverse.

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Oil Posts Daily, Weekly Losses on Economic Concerns

Oil prices settled lower on Friday to notch their seventh weekly loss in two months. Investors are becoming worried that high inflation will lead to more hawkish policies across the globe, ultimately slowing down economic growth. In turn, January-dated crude fell $1.52, or 2.1%, to finish at $70.86 per barrel. For the week, it lost 1.1%.

Meanwhile, gold prices finished higher to log their first settlement above the significant $1,800 level since Nov. 22. The yellow metal also walked away with a 1.1% win for the week, as traders continued to eye the Covid-19 omicron variant. For the day, February-dated gold rose $6.70, or 0.4%, to close at $1,804.90 per ounce.

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