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DJIA Today, Oct. 15, 2014: The Dow Jones dropped sharply Wednesday, falling as much as 460 points during the session amid weak economic data and renewed concerns about the Ebola virus. The Dow rebounded in the afternoon, but still suffered a 173-point decline. The S&P 500 Volatility Index (VIX) jumped another 9% on the day.
The S&P 500 fell again on the day, its sixth decline in eight sessions.
Here's the scorecard from today's trading session:
Dow: 16,141.74, -173.45 (-1.06%)
S&P 500: 1,862.49, -15.21 (-0.81%)
Nasdaq: 4,215.32, -11.85 (-0.28%)
Now, here's a breakdown of the top stories from the stock market today:
- Death of Retail: America's largest retailer, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT), announced plans to curb the pace of its brick-and-mortar store openings in order to focus on expansion of its e-commerce offerings. In 2015, the company plans to open up to 70 super centers, down from nearly 120 this year. As the nation's third-largest e-commerce retailer, the company is aiming to surpass No. 2, Staples Inc. (Nasdaq: SPLS), in the near future. Wal-Mart is a very long way from taking on e-commerce giant Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) for the top slot. Shares of Wal-Mart were down more than 2.5% on the day.
- Ebola Fears Reappear: A day after manufacturers of protective gear slumped heavily due to easing concerns about Ebola outbreak, stocks reversed this afternoon. Following the news that the latest exposed patient in the United States flew on a plane with more than 100 people before diagnosis, concerns about the deadly disease sent these protective stocks soaring. Shares of hazmat suit maker Lakeland Industries Inc. (Nasdaq: LAKE) jumped more than 10%. Alpha Pro Tech Ltd. (NYSE: APT) shares jumped more than 13%. And today's largest gainer was Versar Inc. (NYSE: VSR), a manufacturer of hazmat suits and decontamination units. Versar shares soared 65% on the day.