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Stock market news today, July 10, 2014: U.S. markets slumped on Thursday on news that Portugal's Banco Espirito Santo had its top shareholder halt the sale of the bank's stocks and bonds. At its worst, the Dow Jones was down 180 points intraday, but quickly surged back as concerns abated over Portugal. The Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index (VIX), typically known as the Fear Index, jumped more than 5% this afternoon.
On the jobs front, the number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits reached a seven-year low. However, the employment participation rate still remains near a 30-year low as only 62.8% of able-bodied American adults are working – the lowest since March 1978.
Here's the scorecard from today's trading session:
DOW: 16,915.39 (-0.41%)
NASDAQ: 4,396.20 (-0.52%)
S&P 500: 1,964.69 (-0.41%)
And here's a roundup of the top stories in stock market news today:
- Debt Nation: The Financial Ministry of Greece announced that the nation's second attempt to sell debt on the global markets underperformed. As concerns again rise about the economic condition of European countries, Greece raised 1.5 billion euros in a sale of three-year bonds. The total was far less than the Ministry expected. This is the nation's second debt sale in three months, following a four-year exile from the markets after its 2010 bailout.
- Pretty Please: The Wall Street Journal reported that Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC) asked regulators to approve a higher quarterly dividend of $0.05 per share after it withdrew a previously planned increase in April.
- Yelling Timber: Shares of Lumber Liquidators Holdings Inc. (NYSE: LL) plunged more than 20% this afternoon after the hardwood-flooring retailer slashed its 2014 earnings outlook. The new forecast dropped expected earnings to a range of $1.05 billion to $1.10 billion, down from its previous estimate of $1.15 billion to $1.20 billion.
- Drink Up: Shares of Family Dollar Stores Inc. (NYSE: FDO) held their ground today, despite posting a 33% decline in quarterly profits. The company missed estimates of $0.85 per share by $0.04 cents. Citing inventory challenges, store closures, and intense competition from rivals Dollar General Inc. (NYSE: DG) and Dollar Tree Inc. (Nasdaq: DLTR), the company announced plans to expand beer and wine sales to boost profits.
- USA, USA, USA: The world's largest oil cartel, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), announced in its monthly report that U.S. oil production is carving into their market share. OPEC ministers said they expect their share to shrink again in 2015 for the third consecutive year. The group cited the U.S. shale oil boom in addition to new technologies and growing concerns in some member nations where geopolitical problems are hurting production.
Now our experts share some of the most important investment moves to make based on today's market trading – for Money Morning Members only: