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The Dow Jones fell 251 points today. The cause? An afternoon oil-price surge caught the market off guard. West Texas Intermediate crude jumped 8% in New York.
Dow: 17,164.95, -251.90, -1.45%
S&P 500: 1,994.99, -26.26, -1.30%
Nasdaq: 4,635.24, -48.17, -1.03%
The S&P 500 Volatility Index (VIX), the market's fear gauge, spiked more than 16% on the day.
What Moved the Markets Today: The late-day surge in oil prices was the big story Friday. Crude prices jumped in New York after Islamic State militants attacked Kurdish forces near the oil-rich city of Kirkuk and news emerged that the U.S. rig count, an indicator of forward production, slipped by 7% this week.
The fourth-quarter GDP report issued today registered a lower growth rate than economists anticipated. U.S. GDP increased 2.6% in the fourth quarter, down from the expected 3.2% and well below the 5.0% pace recorded in the third quarter.
Now, check out the other top market stories – plus get today's profit tip for investors:
- Cooking Up Profits: Shares of Shake Shack Inc.(NYSE: SHAK) surged as much as 150% during its public debut. The New York-based burger chain was expected to open at $21 – a steep increase from the initial price range of $14 to $16 per share. But demand was immense, and the stock surged in its first hour. But is Shake Shack a good investment? Find out here.
- Credit Crushes: Shares of MasterCard (NYSE: MA) were up nearly 1% this afternoon on news the payment processor reported stronger than expected quarterly profits and revenue. MasterCard CEO Ajay Banga also provided a rosy outlook for 2015. On Thursday, Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) reported strong fiscal first-quarter earnings of $2.53 a share, beating estimates by $0.04. The firm also announced plans for a four-for-one stock split. Visa shares were up 2.79% on the day.
- Cutting Costs: Shares of Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) slipped 1% today despite the firm announcing it beat fourth-quarter earnings estimates. The company said sales of chemicals, lubricants, and other refined products allowed the firm to offset crashing oil prices, which have fallen by more than 60% since last June. Still, the firm plans to slash its capital expenditures in 2015 by 13%, down to $35 billion.
- An Apple a Day: Shares of Apple stock hit a new 52-week intraday high Friday, as investors remain bullish on the stock after its quarterly earnings report from this week. Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) smashed Wall Street expectations with record sales of iPhones in the holiday shopping season. This fueled the largest quarterly profits in company history. The stock slid in afternoon trading, however, to end the day down 1.46%.