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How Did the Stock Market Do Today?
S&P 500: 1,942.04; -27.37; -1.39%
Nasdaq: 4,756.53; -55.40; -1.15%
The Dow Jones Industrial Average today (Wednesday) cratered more than 239 points as oil prices plunged and a late sell-off reversed gains made in early hours of the trading session. Investors remain in a period of volatility as they try to make sense of monetary policy in China, the United States, and Europe.
The downturn follows a rally in global markets, where the Nikkei had its best single day in nearly seven years, rising more than 7.7%. Today, Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo promised to slash the nation's corporate income tax – which is the highest rate of any developed country – by at least 3.3% over the next year.
Despite the downturn, Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) was one of the day's top performers on the S&P 500, adding 4.5%. The streaming giant reversed a seven-day trading loss after Oppenheimer reissued its "Outperform" rating on the stance that a buying opportunity had presented itself ahead of today's Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) corporate event in San Francisco.
The S&P 500 Volatility Index (VIX), the market's fear gauge, added more than 5.8% on the day.
Top Stock Market News Today
- Stock Market News: Energy stocks were the worst performer on the day, with the S&P Energy Sector (SPNY) falling 2%. WTI crude oil prices fell roughly 3.5% to reach $44.31. Meanwhile, Brent oil prices fell 3.8% to $47.66 per barrel. Notable drags on the Dow included Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM), down 2%; oilfield services giant Schlumberger Ltd. (NYSE: SLB), down 1.5%; ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP), down 1.3%; Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX), down 2.2%; and vertical energy supply giant Marathon Oil Corp. (NYSE: MRO), which fell more than 8.5%.
- On Tap Thursday: Tomorrow, investors will keep an eye on weekly jobless claims, an update on import and export prices, and an announcement by the Bank of England on whether the central bank will raise interest rates from six-year historic lows.
Stocks to Watch: AAPL, YHOO, BABA, UAL, CSX, TTPH, BKS
- Stocks to Watch No. 1, AAPL: Traders seemed unimpressed by today's product unveiling by Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) CEO Tim Cook. The company presented a voice-controlled remote, the newest version of Apple TV, which has an app store, and several announcements about its product lines and its next generation iPhone. However, investors "sold on the news" of the new products, a trend that has occurred after recent product announcements.
- Stocks to Watch No. 2, YHOO: Shares of Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO) reversed early losses and finished up 2% today, despite news that nine financial companies slashed their price outlook for the company's stock. Shares have been under pressure after the Internal Revenue Service denied the firm's request to engage in a tax-free deal to spin off its stake in Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE: BABA).
- Stocks to Watch No. 3, UAL: Shares of United Continental Holdings Inc. (NYSE: UAL) rebounded from early morning losses to finish up marginally after the firm announced it has replaced its CEO. Today, Oscar Munoz, a board member and former president and COO of CSX Corp. (NYSE: CSX), replaced Jeff Smisek and outlined his expectations for the firm moving forward. Wall Street approved the change in leadership, while the firm's CFO said today the company is set to save $1 billion in annual non-fuel costs by 2016. In addition, the CFO said the airline company will complete its $1 billion share buyback program ahead of schedule.
- Stocks to Watch No. 4, TTPH: Shares of Tetraphase Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: TTPH) cratered nearly 80% today after the company announced its experimental bowel drug failed to meet expectations during a late-stage trial.
- Stocks to Watch No. 5, BKS: Shares of Barnes & Noble Inc. (NYSE: BKS) slumped more than 27% this afternoon in a sharp sell-off after the nation's largest chain of bookstores announced it fell short of sales and revenue expectations. This is the fifth-consecutive quarter in which Barnes & Noble has announced a decline in sales. The company is in the midst of a major turnaround effort, but investors are losing confidence after its weak first-quarter earnings report.
What Investors Must Know This Week
- Is This a Bear Market? This Indicator Says Yes
- U.S. Dollar Drops as Global Stock Markets Decline
- Oil Price Forecast Shows Oil Headed for a Rebound
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