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The Dow Jones today ended the trading session down 51 points, fueled by a global equities sell-off. The markets did bounce back from session lows in the final hour as investors found value on several oversold stocks. The price of gold surged back above the $1,200 level, rising nearly 3% on the day. The VIX, the market's volatility gauge, jumped 5% on the day.
Dow: 17,801.20, -51.28, -0.29%
S&P 500: 2,059.82, -0.49, -0.02%
Nasdaq: 4,766.46, +25.77, +0.54%
What Moved the Markets Today: Markets slumped Tuesday on renewed global concerns. The Greek stock market crashed this morning, falling more than 13%. This is the worst one-day turn for the foreign market in its history. Shares of the National Bank of Greece (NYSE ADR: NBG) fell 13.5%. This morning, Greek leaders announced plans to move up national presidential elections by two months to Dec. 17. Investors also began to murmur about the possibility that the U.S. Federal Reserve could alter its pledge to maintain record-low interest rates for a "considerable time." The Fed Open Market Committee will meet again next week to discuss the future of U.S. monetary policy.
Now check out the day's most important market notes:
- Oil Prices Rise: Oil prices bounced back this afternoon from five-year lows, although traders fear there could be more downside in the near future. Crude prices slumped yesterday after Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) cut its price forecast to $70 and said it expects the market to hit its nadir in the second quarter of 2015. Money Morning Global Energy Strategist Dr. Kent Moors joined Bloomberg TV Monday to explain why OPEC will lose the global oil price war and discussed what the fair market price for oil is right now. Watch the interview here.
- A Deal in Play: Shares of Abercrombie and Fitch Co. (NYSE: ANF) jumped 8% this afternoon on news that controversial Chief Executive Officer Mike Jeffries has retired. This clears the path for the retailer to receive takeover offers from suitors. The stock hit a 52-week low last week on a weak earnings report.
- The Price War Continues: Shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) fell more than 4% this afternoon on news the company expects weaker profits in the fourth quarter due to a hike in promotional offers and discounts. It was just last week that Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) announced a new pricing scheme to poach customers away from AT&T Corp. (NYSE: T) and Verizon, raising new concerns about a price war. Verizon will announce fourth-quarter earnings on Jan. 22, 2015. Shares of AT&T fell nearly 3% on the day.
- Bad Beat: Shares of H&R Block Inc. (NYSE: HRB) slipped more than 5% on news the company missed fiscal second-quarter expectations. The company announced a quarterly loss of $112 million. The tax company typically takes a loss in quarters not surrounding the busy tax season. The loss was smaller than the consensus estimate of $142 million. (Speaking of taxes, Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist discusses how to reduce your tax bill in five moves here.)
- Implosion: Shares of Conn's Inc. (Nasdaq: CONN) plunged 40% this afternoon on news of a surprising fiscal third-quarter loss and an announcement that Chief Financial Officer Brian Taylor will be leaving the firm. This is the second time in 2014 that the furniture retailer's stock has fallen more than 40% in a day.
Now our experts share some of the most important investment moves to make based on today's market trading – for Money Morning Members only:
- This Country's Huge "Pricing Error" Will Send These Shares Soaring: The Saudis are very frustrated about losing control over pricing power they've held for decades. It's annoying them to no end, in fact. So, they're fighting back the only way they know how to shift the balance back in their favor – by starting a price war with the United States. But Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald says they've made the biggest strategic "pricing error" in the kingdom's history. And in doing so, they've actually cleared the way for America's shale energy boom and opened up a killer opportunity for one company in particular.
- One Stock That Will Profit from a New, Breakthrough Medical Direction: Modern medicine, for all of its sophisticated drugs, complex gadgets, and amazing surgical procedures, rarely cures anything. It treats. It manages. It postpones the inevitable. But return a patient to normal, optimal health? Rarely. So when an innovation comes along that can effect a complete and permanent remission of disease or restore damaged organs to a pristine state, it should cause your keenest investing instincts to perk up and pay attention…
- How We'll Play the 2014 Year-End Rally: Stocks are headed higher through year end for many reasons, but one in particular is telling. It's really simple, yet too many people have overlooked it. Indeed, most wouldn't even give it enough thought. And that would be a big mistake. As Money Morning's Shah Gilani explains, if you understand that one compelling reason, you can pick some winners – and pocket big profits – yourself.
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.