Stock market close, August 5, 2014: After ending in positive territory yesterday (Monday), U.S. markets crumbled again today on concerns of heightened geopolitical tension in Ukraine. The energy sector saw a broad sell-off during the afternoon and oil prices fell. West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark crude that is priced at the Nymex in New York, slipped nearly 1% and fell below $98 per barrel. Brent crude, the global benchmark priced in London, slipped below $105 per barrel.
The Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index (VIX), which gauges investment fear, jumped roughly 11.5% on the day. Short-term investors in the Path S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures TM ETN (NYSE:VXX) saw shares increase by more than 5%.
Here’s the scorecard from today’s trading session:
Dow: 16,429.47, -139.81 (-0.84%)
Nasdaq: 4,352.83, -31.05 (-0.71%)
S&P 500: 1,920.21, -18.78 (-0.97%)
Now, here are the top stories from today:
- Bad Day in Energy: Energy companies saw the sharpest sell-off this afternoon. Shares of Pioneer Natural Resources (NYSE: PXD) slipped 5.6% on the day after the company announced it failed to meet Wall Street’s quarterly estimates. Shares of Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) also fell nearly 2% and was unable to boost investor confidence today despite announcing plans that it may expand its refinery in Beaumont, Texas, into the country’s largest by 2020. Shares of Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) also dipped more than 2% during the broader energy sell-off.
- Loyalty Oaths: One day after a prominent pundit proposed loyalty oaths for American companies and U.S. President Barack Obama blasted corporate culture and tax incentives that drive U.S. firms abroad, Walgreen Co. (NYSE: WAG) shocked investors by saying it will not invert and relocate to the United Kingdom after its recent purchase of British pharmacy chain Alliance Boots. The decision, which was first reported by Sky News, sent shares tumbling more than 4%.
- The Botox Bid: Shares of Allegan Inc. (NYSE: AGN) slipped about 3% on news that proxy-advisory firm Glass Lewis & Co. told shareholders to support a pending meeting that would aid Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc.’s (NYSE: VRX) attempt to purchase the Botox manufacturer. The shareholder meeting would likely set the stage for a vote by Allegan’s board on whether to accept a possible bid. Shares of Valeant fell by nearly 5% on the day.
- Digital Boom: Shares of Time Inc. (NYSE: TIME) were up slightly after the largest publicly traded magazine company in the world said it beat Wall Street estimates. The company, which spun off from parent company Time Warner Inc. (NYSE: TWX) in June, said that digital ad sales boosted its quarterly profits.
- Merger Mania: Shares of discount retailer Dollar General Corp. (NYSE: DG) were up more than 3% after Bloomberg reported the firm may counter Dollar Tree Inc.’s (Nasdaq: DLTR) $8.5 billion bid for Family Dollar Stores Inc. (NYSE: FDO). The bid would be required by Dollar General if the firm wants to remain the largest discount retailer in North America.
Now our experts share some of the most important investment moves to make based on today's market trading - for Money Morning Members only:
- Put These Investing Classics on Your Vacation Reading Short List: It’s now August, and we're hitting prime vacation season. If you’re like Money Morning Executive Editor Bill Patalon, you want to use that time to catch up on your reading. Consider including a business book or two on that list. The time invested will have a long-term payoff. Here’s a list of Bill’s current favorite investment books…
- This Miracle Material Is Our Secret Weapon in the Coming Energy War: China and Russia's $400 billion natural gas deal was one of the first shots in their energy war against the United States and Europe. But Defense & Tech Specialist Michael A. Robinson discovered one company's products that are a big part of the technology that provides our best defense in this coming war. And that makes this a "defense" technology we can feel proud about profiting from…
- A Clear Way to Profit from a Graying Population: The Baby Boom generation, which includes everyone born from 1946 through 1964, is now entering retirement age (65) at a rate of 10,000 per day. Naturally, the more seniors there are, the more demand there will be on the medical community for better and safer therapies, and more ways to profit from this trend…