"The market hates uncertainty, and we have a lot of it
currently," noted Schaeffer's Senior Technical Strategist Ryan
Detrick, CMT. "The government shutdown keeps getting the headlines,
but under the surface, the much bigger concern is the debt ceiling
decision, which comes to a head on Oct. 17. To me, we can live with
a government shutdown, but need to get a resolution on the debt
ceiling pronto." Words from President Obama failed to bring comfort
to investors, as the
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
trended lower throughout the day, closing with a triple-digit loss.
Continue reading for more on today's market, including
President Obama talks tough, two Federal Reserve officials
revisit "tapering," and Nokia (
) is targeted by put buyers.
Once again, the
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 14,776.53)
spent the entire session in the red, as its losses gradually built
throughout the session. By the bell, the blue-chip index settled at
its lowest close since Aug. 27, down 159.7 points, or 1.1%.
Wal-Mart Stores (
) paced the three advancing Dow names with a gain of 1.4%, while
) continued to lead the declining majority, shedding 2% on the
S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,655.45)
was sharply lower as well, losing 20.7 points, or 1.2%, to close
south of its 80-day moving average for the first time since Sept.
Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 3,694.83)
surrendered even more of its value, giving back 75.5 points, or 2%,
to close just shy of its intraday low.
CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 20.34)
continued to gain ground, adding 0.9 point, or 4.8%. The fear
barometer has closed above the 20 level just three times in
A Trader's Take
"Earnings season is upon us, but today remained all about
Republicans versus Democrats in another session fueled by
Washington drama," summarized Detrick. "Elsewhere, momentum names
that had held up so well previously were crushed today, and former
leaders like small-caps and tech stocks finally cracked. You could
argue all groups need to drop before a major bottom can form, and
this could be phase one of that."
3 Things to Know About Today's Market
- President Barack Obama addressed reporters at 2 p.m. ET,
fielding questions about the ongoing -- and so far unproductive
-- budget negotiations. Seemingly placing all blame squarely on
House Speaker John Boehner's (R-Ohio) shoulders, the commander in
chief pled, "Let's stop the excuses. Let's take a vote in the
Let's end this shutdown right now
." Meanwhile, Mr. Boehner continued to chastise Democratic
leaders for "refusing to negotiate."
(The Washington Post)
- The "taper" specter emerged from the shadows today, as two
Federal Reserve officials opined that the U.S. economic backdrop
is healthy enough to endure a gradual decrease in the central
bank's bond-buying efforts. Sandra Pianalto and Charles Plosser
-- respective presidents of the Cleveland and Philadelphia Feds
made separate remarks
indicating they would have liked to see a pullback in asset
purchases beginning with last month's Federal Open Market
- The International Monetary Fund (IMF)
lowered its forecast
for global economic expansion, amid slowing growth in emerging
markets and continued ambiguity in the U.S. The IMF now projects
global growth of 2.9% and 3.6% for 2013 and 2014, respectively.
This is down from the 5.4% growth rate seen in 2007.
(The New York Times)
5 Stocks We Were Watching Today
- Volume spiked in
option pits, as near-term traders scooped up calls and puts
expiring this week.
- Bearish speculators -- or perhaps shareholders seeking a
short-term hedge -- flocked to
Nokia Corporation's (
options pits today.
- Already a favorite among the brokerage bunch,
Starbucks Corporation (SBUX)
earned a price-target hike from Piper Jaffray ahead of the
heated up on
ahead of next week's earnings release.
has taken a recent tumble, prompting accelerated put buying and a
price-target cut at BMO today.
For a look at today's options movers and commodities
activity, head to page 2.
Oil futures moved modestly higher, as crude watchers await
tomorrow's weekly update on petroleum inventories. By the close,
November-dated oil had gained 46 cents, or 0.5%, to settle at
$103.49 per barrel.
Gold futures were little changed, with investors hesitant to
make a move amid continued wrangling in Washington. December gold
futures settled with a fractional loss of 50 cents, at $1,324.60