Dow Plunged 251 Points; Wall Street Overrun With Downbeat Data

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It was another wild ride for the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) today, as a slew of domestic data kept buyers sidelined. "The day started off with initial jobless claims that sent the four-week moving average of this figure to its highest level since December 2011," said Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell. "The Philadelphia Fed's manufacturing index also came in much worse than expected, and existing home sales once again declined. Rumors also surfaced that Moody's downgrade of global banks was imminent, which just added to the negative news on the day."

Keep reading to see what else was on our radar today:

  • See what major round-number area Bernie Schaeffer is tracking for European stocks .
  • Time to buy? : Is the SPDR S&P 500 Trust ETF ( SPY ) showing something bullish?
  • Plus, did Moody's expected downgrade trigger a massive volatility play in the financial sector?
And now, a look at the numbers...

CLOSING SUMMARY - INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY - NYSE AND NASDAQ

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 12,573.57) was only able to keep its head above breakeven for a few moments this morning, before tumbling 250.8 points, or nearly 2%, in one of its worst daily performances in 2012. All but two of the Dow's 30 components notched losses, as Alcoa ( AA ) and Hewlett-Packard ( HPQ ) paced the long line of laggards with deficits of 4.2% and 4.1%, respectively. Meanwhile, Merck ( MRK ) closed with a 0.6% rise and Verizon ( VZ ) inched fractionally higher.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,325.51) stayed south for a second straight session, lopping off 30.2 points, or 2.2%. Turning in the worst performance of its peers, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 2,859.09) ended its five-day winning streak with a 71.4-point, or 2.4%, dive.

The CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 20.08) inched above the 20 level just before the closing bell today, jumping 16.5%. The VIX ended below its session peak of 20.48, and marked its first settlement atop 20 since last week.

Today's highlight : "There just wasn't much for investors to cheer about today," stated Bell. "After a decent rally earlier this week, the bulls were nowhere to be found, and massive selling quickly became the theme for today."

Turning to today's major market stories...

For today's activity in commodities, options, and more, head to page 2.

Oil futures prolonged their recent dive today, plummeting to their lowest price since October, and marking their worst percentage drop since December. Oversupply concerns, coupled with a batch of lackluster data -- including weekly jobless claims, existing home sales, and a disappointing Philly Fed manufacturing report -- weighed heavily on black gold. And as the greenback grew stronger, crude for August delivery sank $3.25, or 4%, to end at $78.20 a barrel.

Suffering a similar fate, gold futures slipped to their lowest price since late May at the hands of a buoyed dollar, weak domestic data, and ongoing concerns of a global economic slowdown . By the close, August-dated gold hacked off $50.30, or 3.1%, to close at $1,565.50 an ounce. This marked the malleable metal's biggest percentage loss since early April.

Levels to Watch in Trading :

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 12,573.57) - support at 11,500; resistance at 14,000

  • S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,325.51) - support at 1,100; resistance at 1,500

  • Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 2,859.09) - support at 2,400; resistance at 3,400

OUTPERFORMING AND UNDERPERFORMING SECTORS

STOCKS - MOVERS

STOCKS - EARNINGS

STOCKS - NOTABLE CALL ACTIVITY

STOCKS - NOTABLE PUT ACTIVITY

For today's notable annual highs and lows, click here .

SCHAEFFER'S MARKET POSTURE

At the end of every market day, the staff at Schaeffer's Investment Research reviews the trading day in detail, covering major events and key market developments. Don't miss this critical, timely and insightful report. If you enjoyed today's edition of Market Recap, sign up here for free daily delivery straight to your inbox.



The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized reproduction of any SIR publication is strictly prohibited.


This article appears in: Investing , Options

Referenced Stocks: AA , HPQ , MRK , SPY , VZ

Schaeffer's Investment Research

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