Dow Dives 156 Points on Domestic Data, Overseas Woes; Facebook on Deck

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"We're experiencing continued fallout from the negative momentum we've endured for almost two weeks now," suggested Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell. "Throw in the very poor Philly Fed's manufacturing index this morning, and sellers once again pushed this market down." With that, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) marked its fifth consecutive session lower, and its first daily close below its 140-day moving average since Nov. 29.

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

  • Lagging market got you down? Head for the biotech sector.
  • Beware the slow, steady drop in the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust ( SPY ).
  • Will the Street get a boost from the recent oversold conditions?

And now, a look at the numbers...

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 12,442.49) suffered its worst daily close since Jan. 13, plummeting 156.1 points, or 1.2%. The Dow closed just above its session low of 12,440.52, tagged in the last minutes of trading. All but six blue chips finished with losses, as Caterpillar's ( CAT ) 4.4% drop led the parade of underperformers. Wal-Mart's ( WMT ) earnings-induced bounce of 4.2% paced the winning issues.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,304.86) slipped back below the 1,330 level today, and burned off 19.9 points, or 1.5%, by the time the dust settled. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 2,813.69) turned in the worst performance of its peers, declining 60.4 points, or 2.1%.

The CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 24.49) touched its highest daily settlement since Dec. 19, vaulting nearly 10% today. The VIX closed just below its late-session high of 24.51.

Today's highlightbroad-market sell-offusual suspects in the euro zonecouple of disappointing domestic economic reportsFB

Turning to today's major market stories...

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

Oil futures notched another six-month low and fell to their fifth loss in a row today. Concerns with Greece and Spain, as well as poor manufacturing data at home, proved to be too much for the commodity, and by the close, crude for June delivery pinched off 25 cents, or 0.3%, to close at $92.56 a barrel.

One session after reaching their lowest point in 10 months , gold futures rallied today. As bargain investors took advantage of the precious metal's recent weakness, June-dated gold jumped $38.30, or 2.5%, to land at $1,574.90 an ounce.

Levels to Watch in Trading :

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 12,442.49) - support at 11,500; resistance at 14,000

  • S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,304.86) - support at 1,100; resistance at 1,500

  • Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 2,813.69) - support at 2,400; resistance at 3,400

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.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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