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Dow Jones Today, Oct. 8, 2014: The Dow Jones Industrial Average soared 274 points Wednesday following the Federal Open Market Committee's release of its September meeting minutes. The release marked the last of the Quantitative Easing 3 (QE3) era. According to the minutes, many Fed officials are seeking a new way to convince others that they are not prepared to raise interest rates according to the previous timeline.
The S&P Volatility Index (VIX) slumped nearly 10% on the day.
Today also marks the unofficial start to the September-quarter earnings season. After the bell, global aluminum giant Alcoa Inc. (NYSE: AA) will announce its quarterly results. Ahead of its earnings report, shares of Alcoa were up slightly.
Here's the scorecard from today's trading session:
Dow: 16,994.22, +274.83 (1.64%)
S&P 500: 1,968.89, +33.79 (+1.75%)
Nasdaq: 4,468.59, +83.39 (+1.90%)
Now, here's a breakdown of today's other top stories and stock performances:
- The Slump Continues: Oil prices continued to slide today, with Brent crude oil falling to a two-year low. Meanwhile, futures contracts for U.S. November crude slipped to their lowest level since April 2013. The continued downturn in energy prices is particularly hammering the stocks of oil-field service providers. Oilfield giants Halliburton Co. (NYSE: HAL), Baker Hughes Inc. (NYSE: BHI), and Schlumberger Ltd. (NYSE: SLB) all slipped on the day. (The good news for investors is that making money in the energy sector is no longer tied to higher oil prices – find out here why.)
- The Death of Retail: Shares of retailer J.C. Penney Co Inc. (NYSE: JCP) slumped by more than 11% intraday on news that it slashed its current-quarter same-store sales outlook. The company blamed a "difficult retail environment" in September. This afternoon, shares of Sears Holding Corp. (Nasdaq: SHLD) also fell more than 12% intraday after news broke that several of its suppliers have been halting shipments to stores, citing unpaid or delayed expenses. It's been a very bad year for SHLD stock, which is down a punishing 41% year to date…
About the Author
Garrett Baldwin is a globally recognized research economist, financial writer, and consultant with degrees from Northwestern, Johns Hopkins, Purdue, and Indiana University. He is a seasoned financial and political risk analyst, with a focus on stocks, hedge funds, private equity, blockchain, and housing policy. He has conducted risk assessment projects for clients in 27 countries, and consulted on policy and financial operations for some of the nation's largest financial institutions, including a $1.5 trillion credit fund, a $43 billion credit and auto loan giant, as well as two of the largest Wall Street banks by assets under management.
Garrett joined Money Map Press as an economist and researcher in 2011, specializing in alternative strategies with an emphasis on fundamental and technical analysis.