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Closing Update: Stocks Nosedive, S&P Closes Below 1,800 as Emerging Markets Plummet

By: MT Newswires
Posted: 1/24/2014 4:14:00 PM
Referenced Stocks: BA;BMY;GE;HON;MMM

A perceived fallout from the impact of higher global interest rates on emerging markets reverberated throughout the financial markets for a second day on Friday. U.S. equities sustained heavy losses, driving the Dow Industrials down nearly 2%, below its 50-day moving average to a five-week low. The S&P 500 slid 2%, dropping below pivotal support at 1,800 and shedding 2.6% for the week, while the Nasdaq reversed all of last week's gains, closing more than 2% lower Friday and down 1.7% this week.

Besides emerging-market malaise, worries about slower Chinese growth undermined stocks again Friday following Thursday's report of a decline in China's ISM index to below the 50 expansionary level. Currency devaluations in Argentina, the flight-to-safety from the U.S. dollar into the Japanese yen, and political turmoil in Turkey and Ukraine were also blamed for the defensive tone of the equity market.

The anxiety gripping emerging markets overshadowed positive earnings today from Bristol Meyers Squibb ( BMY ) and Honeywell ( HON ), both of which closed lower despite beating earnings estimates. Industrials also suffered heavy losses with Dow components General Electric ( GE ), Boeing ( BA ) and 3M ( MMM ) leading blue-chips deep into negative territory. The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), known as the stock market's "fear gauge," shot up nearly 30% Friday.

Here's where the markets stand at the close:

US MARKETS

Dow Jones Industrial Index was down 318 (-1.97%) at 15,879

S&P 500 was down 38 (-2.1%) at 1,790

Nasdaq Composite Index was down 90 (-2.2%) at 4,128

GLOBAL SENTIMENT

FTSE 100 was down 1.62%

Nikkei 225 was down 1.94%

Hang Seng Index was down 1.25%

Shanghai China Composite Index up 0.60%

UPSIDE MOVERS

ARIA Upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at BMO Capital Markets, with its price target lifted to $14 from $8.

JNPR Reported Q4 EPS of $0.43, better than expectations of $0.37 per share.

UPI Reported a 14% jump in fiscal third-quarter sales and forecast even stronger revenue growth for the current quarter

BSDI Biodelivery and partner and Endo Pharmaceuticals (ENDP) reported positive top-line results from its pivotal phase 3 efficacy study of BEMA buprenorphine

DOWNSIDE MOVERS

KSU Reported Q4 EPS of $1.03, missing the analyst consensus of $1.10 on Cap IQ

ATOS Priced 5.8 million units for $2.40 per unit for gross proceeds of approximately $14 million

CBLI Oppenheimer downgraded the stock to Perform from Outpeform