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The Dow Jones Industrial Average today (Friday, Dec. 11) closed down 310 points to close at 17,264.21.
The Dow cratered as much as 330 points in trading. Crude oil prices fell to levels not seen since December 2008. Oil broke below $36 per barrel
An oil report by the International Energy Agency bolstered concerns about oversupply. The IEA projects that oil prices will continue to fall, the supply glut will worsen, and that OPEC will not slash production as the oil cartel aims to protect global market share.
January WTI prices fell 3.1% to hit $35.62 per barrel. Meanwhile, Brent oil crude – priced in London – slipped 4.4% to hit $37.97. Shares of Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) and Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) dipped 0.6% and 2.2%, respectively. Oil prices had their single largest weekly loss of 2015.
Of course, don't take market knee-jerk reaction as the right answer. Go here for our expert analysis on what's really happening in the oil market, plus where to expect prices by mid-year 2016.
All 10 S&P sectors fell on Friday by more than 1.1% with energy and materials stocks sinking the most. Energy stocks fell 3.5% on the day. The Chinese yuan hit a four-and-a-half-year low against the U.S. dollar, raising new concerns about the impact on trade between the United States and the world's second-largest economy, as the U.S. trade deficit between the two nations expands due to currency manipulation and devaluation.
In other economic news out today, the U.S. Labor Department announced this morning that domestic producer prices increased in November, also they remain subdued compared to last year. Producer prices increased by 0.3% last month, the largest single jump since June. This figure outpaced economist expectations of a 0.1% increase.
Hot Stocks Today
DOW: Shares of Dow Chemical Co. (NYSE: DOW) and E I Du Pont De Nemours And Co. (NYSE: DD) both fell on news that the companies have agreed to a $130 billion merger that will create a massive chemical and agricultural firm. The deal is now one of the top 20 largest mergers of all time and will create a new organization called to be called DowDuPont. Here's what the future of this deal looks like for the industry.
KMG: Shares of KMG Chemicals (NYSE: KMG) jumped more than 27% after the company beat first-quarter earnings expectation and received a strong upgrade from investment firm Seaport Global Securities. The Buy recommendation accompanies a price target of $26 per share.
BABA: Shares of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE: BABA) were off 5.1% as concerns about the yuan weigh on Chinese companies. This morning, the nation's largest ecommerce company announced plans to purchase the English-language newspaper South China Morning Post and media assets of SCMP Group Limited, which is based in Hong Kong. Shares of Yahoo! Inc. (NYSE: YHOO), which owns a 15% stake in Alibaba, slipped more than 4.9%.
JBLU: Shares of Jetblue Airways (Nasdaq: JBLU) slipped more than 7% on news that the airline company said it anticipates flight sales tied to capacity will fall this quarter. Despite falling oil prices, airline stocks were down on the day.
FSNR: Shares of Finisar Corp. (Nasdaq: FNSR) surged more than 22% after the optical communications company bested Wall Street earnings expectations and said that it impressive growth is fueled by the ever-increasing demand for bandwidth around the world. The company's largest customer, Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), saw its shares slide 2.2% on the day.
What to Watch Next Week
On Monday, a light economic and earnings calendar will push investors to focus on the FOMC meeting set for Wednesday, Dec. 16. Members of the Federal Reserve will meet for the central bank's final meeting of the year where it will decide whether or not to raise interest rates for the first time since 2006.
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