Dow Sheds 128 Points As Shutdown Deadline Looms


"The stock market started the day down quite a bit after a combination of political turmoil in Italy and here in the United States sent investors fleeing," said Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell, CMT. "There were several resignations within the Italian government today, and the U.S. government is fast approaching a shutdown deadline tonight. With a lot of uncertainty on the horizon, it's not a surprise that participants looked to take some of their bets off the table." Against this backdrop, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) suffered a triple-digit decline.

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

    The Senate rejected the House's proposed budget bill, the Chicago purchasing managers index (PMI) advanced in September, and Cisco Systems ( CSCO ) saw a rise in longer-term call volume.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 15,129.67) plummeted right out of the gate, sinking to a session low of 15,086.71 within the first five minutes of trading. By the close, the index was down 128.6 points, or 0.8%. For the quarter, however, the blue-chip bellwether gained 1.5%. Cisco Systems ( CSCO ) led the two advancers with a gain of 0.4%, while Procter & Gamble ( PG ) paced the Dow's 28 laggards with a decline of 2.1%.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,681.55) followed a similar path, touching an intraday low of 1,674.99 in early trading, as well, and was off 10.2 points, or 0.6%, by the closing bell. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 3,771.48) shed 10.1 points, or 0.3%. On a quarterly basis, the indexes added 4.7% and 10.8%, respectively.

Elsewhere, the CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 16.60) spiked to an intraday high of 17.49 at the start of the session, and finished 1.1 points, or 7.4%, higher. Still, the "fear gauge" edged 1.5% lower for the quarter.



A Trader's Take :

"The small-caps really showed some life in the face of this sell-off," Bell continued. "They finished well off their lows and continued to show strength during this market. They have been leading for the past couple of months, which could bode well for a longer-term continuation of this major trend."

3 Things to Know About Today's Market :

  • In the latest Washington drama update , the Senate rejected a budget bill proposed by the House of Representatives in a 54-46 vote, due to a provision that would have delayed the implementation of Obamacare. The Senate then sent an emergency spending bill to the House. If an agreement is not reached by midnight, a number of federal agencies will close for the first time in nearly two decades. Waxing optimistic, President Barack Obama said he's "not at all" resigned to a shutdown. (CNBC)
  • The Chicago purchasing managers index (PMI) arrived at 55.7 in September, up from last month's reading of 53.0. Economists, on average, were expecting a reading of 54.0. Breaking the numbers down even further, new orders rose to their highest level since February, while the employment gauge dropped for a third consecutive month. (MarketWatch)
  • Activist investor Carl Icahn met with Apple ( AAPL ) CEO Tim Cook today, with shareholders hoping the former will be able to convince the latter to expand the firm's buyback program. Meanwhile, the tech giant -- which Icahn deemed a "no brainer" and notably undervalued -- unseated Coca-Cola ( KO ) as the world's most valuable brand of 2013. (MarketWatch)

5 Stocks We Were Watching Today :

  1. Uptrending LinkedIn (LNKD) scored a price-target hike at Macquarie ahead of this morning's opening bell.
  2. Longer-term option bulls flocked toward Cisco Systems ( CSCO ) , with a particular focus on the December series of calls.
  3. Following last week's news that the firm is going private, BlackBerry (BBRY) was on the bearish analyst radar once again.
  4. A new record high for Facebook (FB) lured front-month call buyers to the social media giant's options pits.
  5. Achillion Pharmaceuticals' (ACHN) drug-related plunge triggered a spike in near- and longer-term put volume.

For a look at today's options movers and commodities activity, head to page 2.



Commodities :

Crude futures finished lower today, as anxieties over a potential government shutdown weighed on prices. By the close, November-dated oil declined 54 cents, or 0.5%, to end at $102.33 per barrel. For the quarter, however, crude gained 6%.

Likewise, gold futures also closed in the red on government uncertainties. Gold for December delivery fell $12.20, or 0.9%, to settle at $1,327 an ounce. Over the last three months, however, the precious metal advanced 8.4% -- its first quarterly gain of the year.


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: AAPL , CSCO , GE , KO , PG

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