"There are various events and situations affecting the market
right now, but the developing situation in the emerging markets and
today's big Fed announcement to continue tapering were the big
ones," summarized Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell, CMT.
"Many sectors finished deep in the red, as all of the gains from
yesterday's rally were erased." Against this challenging backdrop,
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
suffered another triple-digit loss, and widened its year-to-date
deficit to more than 5%.
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Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 15,738.79)
was below breakeven the entire day, and ended not far from its
intraday low, off 189.8 points, or 1.2%, by the close. By a hair,
it was the index's lowest finish since Nov. 7. Four Dow stocks
managed to close higher on the day, led by DuPont (
), which added 1.9%. Bringing up the rear among the 26 declining
issues was The Boeing Company (
), which backpedaled 5.3% after its poorly received earnings
S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,774.20)
endured similar selling pressure, settling with a decline of 18.3
points, or 1%. Meanwhile, the
Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,051.43)
relinquished 46.5 points, or 1.1%.
CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 17.35)
spiked 1.6 points, or 9.8%, closing atop above the 17 level for the
third time this year.
A Trader's Take
"We still find the major market averages hovering around their
December 2013 lows," Bell observed, "but there is definitely an
increasing amount of fear about how this currency situation will
develop, and just how much of an impact it will have on U.S.
5 Items on Our Radar Today
- The Federal Reserve unanimously decided to
reduce its monthly asset-buying program
by an additional $10 billion to $65 billion, starting next month.
The central bank also said it would likely make additional cuts
at its March meeting. This was the last meeting chaired by Ben
Bernanke, who will conclude an eight-year tenure on Friday.
(The New York Times)
- Earnings for two Dow components were in focus today, as
AT&T Inc. (T) and The Boeing Company (
) both delivered tepid full-year forecasts. Although Ma Bell's
bottom-line results topped estimates, the
wireless concern also noted
that earnings per share will expand at a "mid-single-digit" pace
in 2014. Meanwhile, Boeing shares dipped in the wake of a
for the current fiscal year.
(Bloomberg; Reuters via The Chicago Tribune)
Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN)
options traders are watching the $400 level as earnings
- In the wake of
Apple Inc.'s (AAPL)
earnings-related pullback, short-term put buyers descended upon
the stock's option pits.
- A number of brokerage firms adjusted their outlooks on
Yahoo! Inc. (
this morning, following the search engine concern's
fourth-quarter earnings report.
For a look at today's options movers and commodities
activity, head to page 2.
Crude futures edged lower today, as investors reacted to the
latest shift in monetary policy and considered a modest build in
weekly supplies. The March contract dropped 5 cents to settle at
$97.36 per barrel.
Gold prices advanced, as stocks retreated and emerging market
concerns continued to percolate. By the close, the February
contract had added $11.40, or 0.9%, to rest at $1,262.20 per
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