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DJIA Today, Jan. 5, 2015: The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 331 points Monday as oil prices slumped and investors sold off on concerns about increased geopolitical tensions in Greece. West Texas Intermediate, traded in New York City, slipped more than 5% on the day, while Brent crude, indexed in London, plunged 6%.
The S&P 500 fell 1.8% on the day. It's the first time since 2008 that the S&P 500 has fallen more than 1% on the first or second trading day of the year.
Dow: 17,501.65, -331.34, -1.86%
S&P 500: 2,020.58, -37.62, -1.83%
Nasdaq: 4,652.57, -74.24, -1.57%
What Moved the Markets Today: The energy sector dropped nearly 4% this afternoon as falling energy prices continue to weigh down the broader market. U.S. crude prices slipped below $50 per barrel for the first time since April 2009 on the tail end of the global trade collapse. In contrast, this downturn has been fueled by oversupply of oil in the global markets. In addition, ongoing economic concerns in Europe, with an emphasis on Greece, have signaled that traders do not expect global demand to remain high in 2015. Oil prices have now fallen by roughly 55% since June, when Brent crude traded above $117 a barrel and WTI above $107. U.S. energy producers saw the biggest hit on the day, with Laredo Petroleum Inc. (NYSE: LPI), Baytex Energy Corp. (USA) (NYSE: BTE), and EP Energy Corp. (NYSE: EPE) all falling more than 12.5% today.
[Editor's Note: Here are the best oil stocks to buy now that prices are low…]
Now check out the biggest stories from the stock market today:
- Sales Fallout: Shares of Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) slumped more than 4% in afternoon trading on news the company's December sales increased a meager 1%. Analysts at JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) had expected an increase in the 2% range. Meanwhile, General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) saw shares fall nearly 1.5% on the day, even though it reported a 19% increase in December U.S. sales.
- European Blues: The euro fell to a nine-year low today against the U.S. dollar, hitting $1.1861 on concerns about Greece and possible new stimulus efforts. The European Central Bank and Mario Draghi are under increased pressure to engage in additional rounds of bond purchases to kick-start the world's largest economic bloc. Rumors are swirling that Greece could exit from the Eurozone in the event that the nation's far-left, anti-austerity party wins a snap election. Here's how to profit from Greece and EU struggles in 2015…
- Biotech Gains: Shares of Cempra Inc. (Nasdaq: CEMP) jumped 7.25% on news the company could soon receive approval for its antibiotic, solithromycin. The company reports that an oral version of the drug hit its goals in a late-stage trial. Meanwhile, shares of FibroGen Inc. (Nasdaq: FGEN) jumped nearly 23% on the day.
- A Share-Price Bite: Shares of Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) fell 2.82% on news the tech giant is expected to post its first-ever decline in iPad sales. According to ABI Research, unit sales are expected to fall by more than 8% for 2014 compared to the year prior. Get all the latest news and analysis on Apple stock here.
- After the Bell: Peak Resorts Inc. (Nasdaq: SKIS) will report second-quarter earnings after market close. According to consensus estimates, the company is expected to report a per-share loss of $1.71 on revenue of $6.4 million.
Now our experts share some of the most important investment moves to make based on today's market trading – for Money Morning Members only:
The Perfect "Anti-Trend" Play: Between its crushing debt, aging population, lack of a workable immigration policy, and decades of abysmal fiscal policy, Japan is in trouble – thus Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald's recommendation to short the currency via ProShares UltraShort Yen (NYSE Arca: YCS). It's returned more than 116% since the Japanese yen was at 76 to the dollar. But it's far from the only way to play Japan at the moment…
- How to Invest Like a CEO – and Beat the Market by 40%: After digging into a recent survey on CEOs, Money Morning Tech Specialist Michael Robinson figured out exactly where today's leaders will be spending their dollars in the next five years. And he wants to show you how to invest like a CEO to take advantage of those long-term spending trends in a way that beats the market by 40%…
- 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…