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Dow Sways 150 Points on Domestic Data, Greek Political Showdown

By: Schaeffer's Investment Research
Posted: 5/15/2012 4:35:00 PM
Referenced Stocks: HD;HPQ;INFY;JPM;SPX

"We had a slew of news on the domestic and European fronts today. Retail sales, manufacturing data, and housing data all seemed to do pretty well by the market early on," stated Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell. "However, as concerns about Greece stayed on traders' minds, the ensuing downward momentum proved to be too much for stocks." After swinging more than 150 points in intraday action, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) bent to its lowest closing price since Jan. 19.

Keep reading to see what else was on our radar today:

And now, a look at the numbers...



The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 12,632.00) touched a session peak of 12,758.43 around midday, and tumbled to the 12,608.16 mark in the last hour of trading. Ultimately, it was a down day, as the Dow slumped 63.4 points, or 0.5%. All but six of its blue chips finished with losses, as Hewlett-Packard ( HPQ ) and Home Depot ( HD ) led the underperfomers with 2.5% and 2.4% drops, respectively. JPMorgan Chase ( JPM ) paced the six winning components with a 1.3% gain.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,330.66) gave up 7.7 points, or 0.6%, by the closing bell, but held its head atop the 1,330 mark. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 2,893.76) drifted south by 8.8 points, or 0.3%.

The CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 21.97) ended a second straight session above 21, inching up 0.5%. The VIX settled below its session peak of 22.70, and touched its highest daily close since Jan. 17.

Today's highlight : Even though Wall Street got a bit of a boost from the Empire State manufacturing index and a positive reading on housing market sentiment , Bell observed that "not a lot went right today. The early rally struggled to keep its traction, and we saw a deep sea of red late in the day. The key 1,340 and 1,333 levels on the SPX were taken out late in the day, and the market's string of losses was prolonged."

Turning to today's major market stories...

For today's activity in commodities, options, and more, head to page 2.

Oil futures tripped to a new low settlement for 2012 today, as political tensions in Greece and anxieties about the prospects for global demand continued to pressure the commodity lower. As the dollar strengthened for yet another session, June-dated crude fell 80 cents, or 0.8%, to land at $93.98 a barrel.

Gold futures also tagged a fresh low for the year, as the ongoing Greek drama and a surging greenback pulled the dollar-denominated commodity to its third straight loss. Gold for June delivery inched lower by $3.90, or 0.3%, to close at $1,557.10 an ounce.

Levels to Watch in Trading :






For today's notable annual highs and lows, click here .


At the end of every market day, the staff at Schaeffer's Investment Research reviews the trading day in detail, covering major events and key market developments. Don't miss this critical, timely and insightful report. If you enjoyed today's edition of Market Recap, sign up here for free daily delivery straight to your inbox.