U.S. stocks were again negatively impacted by ambiguity
surrounding the Federal Reserve's eventual tapering of its
bond-buying efforts. The
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
trended lower for most of the session, closing not far from its
intraday nadir and south of the 15,400 mark for the first time in
more than a month. It was also the blue-chip index's first
triple-digit drop since June 28.
Continue reading for more on today's market, including
The producer price index remained flat in July, a Fed official
fretted over low inflation levels, and put buyers continued to
pummel Nokia (
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 15,337.66)
was trapped in negative territory for most of the session, touching
an intraday low of 15,316.62 in the early afternoon hours of
trading. By the close, the blue-chip bellwether was down 113.4
points, or 0.7% -- its lowest daily close since July 10. Bank of
) led the eight advancers with a gain of 0.6%, while Home Depot (
) and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) each lost 2.5%, pacing the 22
S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,685.39)
spent the majority of the day in the red, declining 8.8 points, or
0.5%, by the closing bell. Meanwhile, the
Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 3,669.27)
shed 15.2 points, or 0.4%.
CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 13.04)
dropped to a session low of 12.35 right out of the gate, but ended
up adding 0.7 point, or 5.9%, on the day.
A Trader's Take
"One key driver behind today's session was continued selling
pressure in the housing sector, which dragged down much of the
broader market," noted Venosa. "One silver lining, though, was the
outperformance seen in some of the beaten-down commodity industries
such as gold, silver, and coal stocks."
3 Things to Know About Today's Market
- James Bullard was the latest Fed official to weigh in on the
central bank's current stimulus measures. During a speech
delivered in Paducah, Ky., the St. Louis Fed president said he is
low inflation levels
, which he added will be a factor in whether the Fed will scale
back its bond-buying program. "There has not been much
indication, so far, that it has been ticking back up toward
target," he noted.
- The Labor Department said its
producer price index (PPI)
remained flat in July, surprising economists who were expecting a
rise of 0.3%. Meanwhile, core prices, which exclude food and
energy costs, edged 0.1% higher -- less than the 0.2% climb
projected by economists. By comparison, June saw gains of 0.8%
and 0.2%, respectively.
- Two ex-employees from JPMorgan Chase (JPM) are facing
criminal charges regarding the
"London Whale" trading scandal
. Julien Grout and Javier Martin-Artajo are the first to be
charged with wire fraud and falsifying books and records to hide
the banking concern's multi-billion dollar trading losses. Each
could face up to 25 years in prison, and incur up to $250,000 in
5 Stocks We Were Watching Today
- Front-month put buyers were unfazed by
Pandora Media's (P)
fresh two-year high.
continued to attract bearish traders, who predicted near-term
losses for the stock.
- Recent headlines for
triggered a flurry of short-term options activity.
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD)
saw a surge in August call volume amid today's positive price
- Optimistic speculators wagered on a new multi-year high for
Sirius XM Radio (SIRI)
For a look at today's options movers and commodities
activity, head to page 2.
Crude oil futures reversed their morning losses, after the
Energy Information Administration reported a larger-than-expected
drop in crude inventories last week. By the time the dust settled,
September-dated oil tacked on 2 cents to close at $106.85 per
Meanwhile, gold futures rebounded after snapping a four-day
winning streak yesterday. The December-dated contract gained
$12.90, or 1%, to end at $1,333.40 an ounce.